Transparency data

Exmouth Marina dredging and disposal at Sprey Point

Information relating to a marine licence to dredge Exmouth Marina and dispose of materials at Sprey Point (case reference case reference MLA/2016/00372)

Documents

marine licence document

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Licence suspension extension notice 9 March 2018

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Responses to MLA/2016/00372 consultation

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licence suspension extension notice to January 18 2018

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Details

The MMO granted a marine licence in August 2017 for maintenance dredging of Exmouth Marina and disposal of materials at the Sprey Point disposal site. The Sprey Point disposal site lies off Teignmouth Beach.

Dredging began in late February 2018 and concerns were raised by users of the beach that black-silt like material was being washed ashore following the disposal of dredged material.

The MMO provided an update on 15 February in which it addressed a number of issues raised by local residents. This includes an explanation about choice of disposal sites. It also explains that testing of material was carried out prior to disposal as part of the application process. This was carried out in line with the OSPAR guidelines. This showed that the material is safe for disposal at sea in line with international conventions.

On 26 February 2018 the MMO announced it had suspended the marine licence for dredging at Exmouth Marina and subsequent disposal activities at Sprey Point while it investigated the source of the material seen on Teignmouth Beach.

On 6 March 2018 the MMO clarified that the suspension of the marine licence remains in place while it continues its investigations and provided further information, including that we have mobilised our scientific and technical advisors at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) to carry out modelling relating to use of the Sprey Point disposal site with the aim of better understanding likely pathways for sediment transport from the disposal site to the beach.

A number of site visits have been undertaken at Teignmouth Beach. In late February, the Environment Agency attended the beach following reports of pollution and the MMO undertook further site visits on 27 February and 5 March. Neither organisation observed significant discoloration and it appears that minimal black material is on the beach following storm events. We have received no further evidence to indicate additional material has been washed up and any clean-up activities are not deemed necessary at this time.

Suspension of licence

On 9 March 2018 the MMO extended the suspension of the marine licence to 14 June 2018. A copy of the suspension notice is published on this page. In addition, a condition of the original marine licence is that dredging does not take place between 1 June and 31 August in any year. This means activity cannot take place while the licence is suspended and/or during this period. The suspension was subsequently extended to 30 September 2018.

On 12 September 2018 the MMO extended the suspension of the licence to 18 January 2019. The MMO continues to work with the applicant on how to proceed after this time.

Information about the marine activities and licence documents are available online via the MMO’s public register (case reference MLA/2016/00372).

Published 6 March 2018
Last updated 12 September 2018 + show all updates
  1. Extended suspension of the licence until 18 January 2019.
  2. Added additional information about licence suspension until 30 September
  3. added information about site visits and cleaning
  4. added additional information in response to questions from members of the public
  5. Added suspension notice extension to 14 June 2018
  6. First published.