Environment Agency issues waste water permit for Hinkley Point C

All waste water discharged from Hinkley Point, Somerset will have to undergo effluent treatment under strict new controls announced today by the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency is issuing a permit to NNB Generation Company Limited (NNBGenCo) for waste water discharges arising from site preparation for the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C. The permit also covers the waste water discharges that would arise from construction of the station if it obtains full planning permission. Brian Payne for the Environment Agency said:

“This permit will help ensure the company delivers the high level of environmental protection that we expect at Hinkley Point C. In reaching our decision we took into consideration the views of local people who responded to our consultation and we’d like to thank those who took the time to do so”

The permit’s requirements include the company having to:
– Construct Water Management Zones across the site to collect and control discharges;
– Implement new site drainage systems;
– Use modern effluent treatment units to control suspended solids and protect water quality; and
– Monitor and report their discharges and the performance of their treatment systems. Read more on the Environment Agency website…

Fishing vessel skipper pleads guilty of failure to keep a proper lookout

On 12th January 2011 the fishing vessel Silver Chord II, collided with and sank the fishing vessel Saphire. The Silver Chord II was heading home to Stornoway after a day trawling for prawns in the North Minch. The skipper Murdo MacDonald left his wheelhouse for a short time to assist his crew in sorting the catch. Roderick McLeod, skipper of the Saphire was operating his fishing vessel single handed, which was stopped in the water whilst he hauled his net. The Silver Chord II crashed into the port side of the Sapphire. The water poured in so quickly that the vessel sank within minutes. Mr McLeod was able to jump safely onto the Silver Chord II. Our investigation revealed there was no lookout on either vessel at the time of the collision. At the Sheriff Court in Stornoway on 29th February 2012, Mr McDonald pleaded guilty to failing to keep a proper lookout. Mr McDonald was fined a total of £1000.
The MCA is very concerned that operators of large fishing vessels such as the Saphire and Silver Cloud II are not maintaining a lookout whilst at sea. Keeping a lookout at all times is mandatory for seafarers on all vessels. This incident once again reminds all fishermen of the need to ensure that the skippers primary responsibility is the safety of his crew and vessel. Read the report on the MCA website… 

Eight foreign ships flagged under detention in the UK during January 2012

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced today that eight foreign flagged ships were under detention in UK ports during January 2012 after failing Port State Control (PSC) inspection. Latest monthly figures show that there were three new detentions of foreign flagged ships in UK ports during January 2012 and five vessels remained under detention from previous months. The overall rate of detentions compared with inspections carried out over the last twelve months was 2.32% this is slightly down from Decembers twelve month rate. Read the report on the MCA website… 

More homes and businesses will receive free flood warnings

The Environment Agency is extending its free flood warning service to around 3,000 homes and businesses in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. Almost 1,900 properties in Cambridgeshire and 1,100 in Norfolk at risk of flooding from the Hundred Foot Washes will be automatically signed up to the Environment Agency’s free Floodline Warnings Direct service. Read more on the Environment Agency website… 

Twelve new havens for wildlife announced

New nature zones covering hundreds of thousands of hectares are to be set up across England, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman revealed today. The 12 Nature Improvement Areas (NIA) announced today will each get a share of £7.5 million to create wildlife havens, restore habitats and encourage local people to get involved with nature. From creating heathland on brownfield sites, a seven hectare lagoon and a network of wildlife-friendly dewponds to improving the conditions for birds, butterflies and amphibians, these 12 sites will provide the space for our wildlife to thrive. Read more on the DeFRA website…

Consultation for update to Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations is closing

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) is the body responsible for investigating marine accidents in the UK. In 2009, the European Commission and Council agreed a new Directive (2009/18/EC), which introduces common standards for the investigation of marine accidents across the EEA (European Union plus Norway and Iceland). The UK is required to update its national law to reflect the requirements of this Directive. Therefore, the MAIB must replace the Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2005, with an updated set of Regulations which transpose the requirements of the Directive. MAIB invite comments by Friday 24 February 2012. Read more on the MAIB website… 

The RoSPA National Water Safety Seminar 2012 – Safety during recession: Riding out the storm

April 26, ETC Venues – Maple House, Birmingham. The current UK recession continues to ask a difficult question of water safety practitioners – how to effectively balance the cost of prevention without sacrificing high standards?

This year’s RoSPA National Water Safety Seminar will consider key tips and advice for managing water safety during recession, whilst also inspiring delegates through presentations made by practitioners who continue to move safety standards forwards, despite difficult operating conditions.

Supported by the National Water Safety Forum, the seminar has a strong following at both local and national levels – making it the “must attend” event for those serious about improving water safety. To book go to the RoSPA website..

Freeing up farming to reach its full potential

The farming industry is the first to benefit from the Government’s pledge to slash red tape which hinders business efficiency, Farming Minister Jim Paice announced today. A raft of measures to free farmers from the shackles of unnecessary burdens, help their businesses become more competitive and so provide a boost to the economy whilst still ensuring environmental protection have been published. Launching the Government’s full response to Farming Regulation Task Force, Mr Paice committed to take action on 86 per cent of the independent panel’s original recommendations made last May. Read more on the DeFRA website…

RNLI lifeboat launched to three youths cut off by the tide

The lifeboat launched to assist three young people reported cut off by the tide at the North end of Newgale beach. RNLI volunteer crew member Vivienne Grey said: “Sometimes people forget just how quickly the tide comes in, you can be cut off in a few minutes, always be aware of the state of the tide.” Read more on the RNLI website…