Dredging will get underway next week to remove up to 18,000 tonnes of silt from Peel marina.
RA O’Neill Ltd, a specialist marine contractor based in Northern Ireland, has been engaged to dredge Peel marina over the next seven weeks. An Isle of Man haulage company will transport the silt to the Poortown site and work will be completed by the TT Festival.
The excavated material will be transported to a temporary storage site near to Poortown Quarry on the outskirts of Peel, where engineering measures are being put in place to prevent any adverse impact on the surrounding environment.
The Department of Infrastructure, working in partnership with the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, said that disposing of the silt on land provides a safer and more controlled solution to dumping it at sea. A planning application for the temporary storage facility is being prepared.
The original intention was to take the excavated material out to sea on a barge and dispose of it at a licensed dump site one mile southwest of Peel. However, evidence suggested that heavy metals contained in the silt could contaminate the marine ecosystem.
Dumping the full amount of dredged material from the entire harbor over a short period would have an adverse effect on the Isle of Man’s multi-million pound king and queen scallop industry.