Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) may require a construction method statement to be submitted for applications for works to be conducted in; near (within 10 metres) or liable to affect a waterway.
The method statement, if required, should detail all mitigation measures necessary to prevent pollution of the water environment during the construction, operational and maintenance phase of the project.
Implementing and strictly adhering to an agreed method statement is important to minimise the impact of the proposal on the water environment.
It is recommended that as a minimum a generic method statement should be submitted along with the planning application although NIEA welcome site specific details, if available, at this stage.
If an application is granted permission a full, detailed, site specific method statement may then be required from the appointed contractor(s). This must be submitted for our agreement no later than 4 weeks before commencement of works on site.
Construction method statements should as a minimum:
- Identify risks to waterways e.g. from cement, concrete, grout, suspended solids, chemicals, paint and hydrocarbons including fuels or oils
- Identify potential pollution pathways
- Demonstrate adherence to good working practices as detailed in current guidance e.g. PPG’s and GPP’s available from www.netregs.org.uk ;
- Detail mitigation measures to be employed to minimise the risk of pollution to any waterway (as defined by the Water (NI) Order 1999) and should include:
- Safe refuelling procedures and secondary containment for chemicals, oil, fuels etc
- Emergency spill procedures
- Best practice for handling and storage of earth stockpiles
- NIEA’s Pollution Prevention hotline number 0800 80 70 60. It is recommended that in the event of a water pollution incident the NIEA water pollution hotline is contacted within 30 minutes unless it is not safe to do so.
- Mitigation measures must be in place prior to the commencement of any works.
Discharge consent, issued under the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999, is required for any discharges to the aquatic environment and may be required for site drainage during the demolition / construction phase. Any proposed discharges not directly related to the construction of the development, such as from septic tanks or wash facilities, will also require separate discharge consent applications
NIEA recommends that Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) should be incorporated into new developments, where feasible, for both the construction and operational phases.
NIEA’s Pollution Prevention Team can advise on Construction Method Statements or provide other pollution prevention advice on firstname.lastname@example.org