Safeguarding the water environment in Scotland
RSK prepared a pollution-prevention plan to support a Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 licence application for a proposed school development in Stevenston, western Scotland. The proposal included a nursery, primary and secondary schools, residential and respite areas, two artificial-turf sports pitches, a car park and associated hard and soft landscaping. The licence application, with the RSK plan, was submitted to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency for review and authorisation.
RSK’s plan outlined the areas where there was pollution risk to the surface water and suggested suitable mitigation measures to prevent or limit this during the construction of the new facility, in line with the relevant regulations. The key risks we had to manage included potential pollutant sources during the construction phase; the routes by which pollutants, including sediment, could reach the water environment from those sources; and the parts of the environment that the pollutants could reach, including noting any particularly sensitive areas.
The completed pollution-prevention plan outlined the associated risks, the control measures, the site topography, the watercourses, the response that would be required to mitigate any pollution event, the maintenance and inspection requirements, and the implementation of pollution-management systems.
Thanks to our plan, the authorities had evidence that there was a low level of risk to the surface-water environment for the proposed development. The main pollution-prevention recommendation concerned controlling surface water run-off from the site during construction to help to manage and control sediment. We advised installing sustainable drainage systems in the form of temporary settlement ponds to enable any sediment in the water to settle out before being discharged. The ponds would then be converted into attenuation tanks to provide ongoing surface-water management for the school. Additional measures to control other potential pollutants included requiring all plant maintenance and refuelling facilities, cement mixing and wheel-wash areas, and locations for the storage of potential contaminants to be restricted to a site compound underlaid by an impermeable membrane. This would help to protect surface and groundwater in the event of a spill or other incident. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency granted the licence.