The UK Environment Agency
(EA) has issued a modification to the waste management license of Able UK such that the company may engage in the dismantling of U.S. ships at its Teesside Reclamation and Recycling Centre
Able UK submitted an application to the Agency on July 31, 2003 to modify the existing licence for its Teesside Reclamation and Recycling Centre (TERRC) site, to permit an increase in its handling capacity from 24,500 to more than 75,000 tonnes per year. In issuing the licence the Agency has restricted the annual amount handled to 200,000 tonnes.
The Agency granted the modification after it had undertaken a thorough assessment reviewing all the potential environmental risks to the Tees Estuary and the surrounding sensitive habitat sites. This assessment involved looking at the potential impact, of not only the waste management licence modification, but also all other relevant plans and projects, such as creating a temporary bund and installing new dock gates so that the dry dock can be used for dismantling vessels/ships.
The assessment has satisfied the Agency and English Nature that the operator’s plans will not have a significant effect on the Tees Mouth and Cleveland Coast Special Protection Area.
The majority of material from the dismantled US vessels will be recovered for re-use, with the creation of some residual waste which the Agency will ensure is handled correctly and consigned to a suitably licensed facility.
Dales Area Manager, Craig McGarvey, said: "The recovery facility at Teesside has been subject to stringent scrutiny and has been judged to have the capacity of carrying out the work while fulfilling all of our requirements to protect the environment.
"In global terms this is a better solution for the environment than disposing of vessels in under-developed countries where such checks are not in place."
The Agency along with the other relevant regulators such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be making regular inspections of the site to ensure this operation is carried out in line with the requirements of the legislation.
Contact has been made with the US Marine Administration (MARAD) and the US Environment Protection Agency (USEPA), who are intending to visit Teesside on a regular basis to guarantee that the operator is dealing with the vessels in the most appropriate way.
The Agency will continue to work closely with these bodies to make sure all aspects of the operation are carried out to its satisfaction.