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Synthesis report on the effects of dredged material disposal on the marine environment (licensing period 2006-'08)
Lauwaert, B.; Bekaert, K.; Berteloot, M.; De Brauwer, D.; Fettweis, M.; Hillewaert, H.; Hoffman, S.; Hostens, K.; Mergaert, K.; Moulaert, I.; Parmentier, K.; Van Hoey, G.; Verstraeten, J. (2008). Synthesis report on the effects of dredged material disposal on the marine environment (licensing period 2006-'08). MUMM, ILVO Fisheries, Maritime Access Division (aMT), and Coast Division (CD): Oostende. 109 + 2 maps [cd-rom] pp.

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    To conserve the maritime access channels to the Belgian coastal harbours and to maintain the depth of the Flemish coastal harbours dredging is needed (Flemish competence) in order to guarantee safe maritime transport. A distinction is being made between maintenance and capital dredging. Maintenance dredging is the periodical removal of material, typically sand and silt deposited by nature through river flow, tidal currents or wave action in areas previously dredged. Capital dredging is the initial deepening of an area such as a channel, harbour or berthing facility, but can also include excavation of underwater trenches for cables, pipelines, tunnels and other civil engineering works. The total volume of dredged material which can be more or less contaminated is being dumped at sea. The competence for dumping at sea falls under the federal government. Therefore, the management of dredged material in Belgium is a mixed competence. On the 12th of June 1990, a cooperation agreement was signed between the federal government and the Flemish region, amended by the cooperation agreement of the 6th of September 2000. Dumping at sea of dredged material is carried out in accordance with the federal law of 20th January 1999 and a permit is given in accordance with the procedure defined in the royal decree of 12th of March 2000. Corresponding to article 10 of this procedure a “synthesis report” has to be established for the Minister which has the North Sea under his competences. The synthesis report needs to include recommendations which support the development of an enforced environmental management. The Flemish Government divided her authority into thirteen Policy Councils. By Decree of the Flemish Government of 7th October 2005, it was decided that the Maritime Access Division should become the implementing division within the Department under the Policy Council of the Flemish Minister for Public Works. In the same Decree the Flemish Government decided to install the Agency for Maritime Services and Coast. The decision was implemented on 1st April 2006. The Maritime Access Division maintains all maritime access channels to the Flemish ports of Oostende, Zeebrugge, Gent and Antwerpen. The Coast Division of the Agency for Maritime Services and Coast maintains the Flemish Coastal Marinas of Nieuwpoort, Oostende, Blankenberge and Zeebrugge. The international framework for dumping at sea of dredged material is the (regional) OSPAR Convention (1992) and the (worldwide) London Convention (1972) and Protocol (1996). These conventions and their associated guidelines take into account the presence of any contaminants within the sediment and whether some alternative beneficial use is possible. In implementing these guidelines, e.g. action levels (sediment quality criteria) have to be defined, dumping sites have to be chosen and a permanent monitoring and research programme has to be carried out.

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