NMF asks the Coastal Administration to wait with the dredging – Dagsavisen

Jan-Hugo Holten, Regional Manager for Eastern Norway, was in contact with Martin Fransson in the Coastal Administration on 17 November to request an information meeting regarding the test dredging and the further plans in the fairway outside Borg Havn in Fredrikstad.

The association requested that the Norwegian Coastal Administration should explain the results the agency itself believes to have arrived at with its monitoring of dumped masses at Svaleskjær and Møkkalasset.

Great need for information

The request was that the Norwegian Coastal Agency had to invite a meeting for all non-governmental nature organizations and the press.

– It would have been important information to know how they will measure the spread and flight of masses over to Hvaler’s areas, among other things, at a physical meeting. They must have understood that there was a great need for information here, says Holten.

– This is by far Norway’s largest dredging and blasting project ever. The total volume is 3.3 million cubic meters of mass. We have seen that it has been tried to be deposited in the sea in many places in Norway, with varying degrees of success.

– What do you think about the test dredging and the way it was carried out?

– It is quite discouraging, but vacuum suction is not considered an alternative, so the authorities have accepted that environmental grab is good enough.

Above the vente

In 2019, NMF sent a complaint to the Ministry of the Environment and demanded that the plans for dredging and sea disposal be put on hold.

– We believe that they should leave the mud until we have a safe way to deposit it, says Holten.

The letter states, among other things, that “NMF expects some contamination of the water column as a consequence of the dredging and NMF therefore questions whether it might be just as well to consider leaving the sediments as long as larger quantities cannot be taken ashore.”

They also point out that the current solution has not led to any particularly unfortunate incidents in terms of traffic flow, and they demand that the best available method be used – either suction dredging or environmental grabs, if the measure is carried out.

– NMF believes that the methods are too bad and do more harm than good, as we have unfortunately experienced elsewhere in Norway, says Holten.

– These are contaminated masses, with danger level three, on a par with the mines they plan to build under the sea.

Impaired trust

In the mailing lists of the Ministry of the Environment, it appears that NMF has objected to the plans since the beginning of the 2000s.

The association issued a press release on Friday in which they criticize the Norwegian Coastal Administration for poor follow-up of their request.

– We believe that a lack of communication and transparency further weakens trust in the Coastal Agency, which had the advantage of inviting information meetings and sharing communications even before the action in Borg Harbor started. They knew there would be trouble, says Holten.

Martin Fransson in the Norwegian Coastal Administration confirms having had contact with Holten.

– It is true that we had plans for an information meeting at the start. But due to the delayed start of the project, ran into the sand. We have chosen to put information on our websites instead. But it is important, as we see after the trial dredging, that the need for information is even greater. It is then important to keep all interested parties well informed, and that everyone gets to take part in documentation about the project, he says.

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