Review of mechanisms to control ecological impacts resulting from hydromorphological changes
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Review of mechanisms to control ecological impacts resulting from hydromorphological changes Alice Baverstock. Purpose and timing of paper. Issue: are existing mechanisms for delivering hydromorph measures sufficient (for Article 11.3i)?

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Review of mechanisms to control ecological impacts resulting from hydromorphological changes Alice Baverstock

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Review of mechanisms to control ecological impacts resulting from

Review of mechanisms to control ecological impacts resulting from hydromorphological changesAlice Baverstock


Purpose and timing of paper

Purpose and timing of paper

  • Issue: are existing mechanisms for delivering hydromorph measures sufficient (for Article 11.3i)?

  • Commitment in Defra’s 3rd consultation paper on WFD transposition to “further consideration” of this issue

  • Consultation planned alongside consultations on agricultural and non-agricultural diffuse pollution measures (December 2006 – March 2007)


Directive requirements

Directive requirements

  • WFD requires us to prevent/mitigate ecological effects resulting from physical changes to water bodies

  • But it accepts that some physical changes (and their ecological effects) are necessary – hence the alternative objectives for HMWB and new modifications


Scope and scale of action needed

Scope and scale of action needed

  • RBC1 showed morphological changes as the most significant pressures on water bodies in England and Wales (affecting 48% rivers, 59% lakes, 89% estuaries and 78% coastal waters).

  • But this isn’t the number of water bodies where we will need to take action.

    Need more information about

  • Additional types of modifications

  • Which changes are causing ecological effects (some information in draft paper, but data and science gaps)

  • Sectors/activities responsible for the modifications which have the impacts (including important split between useful vs redundant modifications)


Existing mechanisms

Existingmechanisms

We have a range of mechanisms which could be used for delivering measures to control the relevant activities

  • Flood management and land drainage mechanisms

  • Dredging and disposal (TRAC) mechanisms

  • Dredging and disposal (freshwater) mechanisms

  • Construction and development (TRAC) mechanisms

  • Land use planning mechanisms

  • Abstraction and impoundment licensing mechanisms

  • Fisheries mechanisms

  • Diffuse pollution mechanisms

  • Restoration mechanisms

  • Cross cutting impact assessments


Wfd proofing existing mechanisms

WFD proofing existing mechanisms

  • None of these mechanisms was designed with the WFD requirements (on hydromorph or anything else) in mind.

  • So we need to “WFD proof” them. This includes making sure those responsible for the mechanisms understand WFD requirements and amend their:

  • appraisal mechanisms

  • guidance and policy documents

  • operational handbooks

  • environmental standards.

  • Draft consultation paper lists some of the things which will need to be amended, but list needs improvement.


Planned amendments to mechanisms 1

Planned amendments to mechanisms 1

There are lots of planned and ongoing changes to these mechanisms. Where these changes are happening, they should be “WFD proofed” too.

Planned changes include:

Flood management

  • Revision of land drainage byelaws

  • EA regional flood defence business plans

    Marine licensing etc

  • Marine bill review of licensing, marine spatial planning, sea fisheries committee reform

  • New licensing for aggregate dredging

  • EIA regulations for FEPA and CPA


Planned amendments to mechanisms 2

Planned amendments to mechanisms 2

Land use planning

  • PPS25 on development and flood risk

  • Drawing together water references from PPS and PPGs

  • Government Code for sustainable buildings

    Fisheries

  • Possible salmon and freshwater fisheries bill

  • Review of fisheries appraisals

    Diffuse pollution

  • See diffuse pollution consultation papers

    Restoration

  • Biodiversity frameworks

  • Regional habitat creation plans for flood management

  • Asset system management plans for flood management


Possible ideas on further changes

Possible ideas on further changes

These are only “possible ideas” as we don’t yet have a good enough picture of the ecological impacts which need tackling to compare against existing mechanisms for requiring action, and so find the gaps.

  • Amend land drainage consent charge?

  • Amend maintenance exemption for deposit of dredgings?

  • Regulate disturbance of sea bed?

  • New offence to disturb bed of inland water?

  • Power to require restoration?

  • Funding for restoration?


Topics for discussion

Topics for discussion

  • Timing and purpose of the paper Should we publish something along these lines as a consultation paper in December? Or policy statement in December? Or for consultation later?

  • Coverage of the paper. Which parts of this paper need to be added/expanded? What should be left out?

  • Restoration. What practical action needs to be taken – scope and scale? What is currently done? What mechanisms work, and which don’t?

  • Existing mechanisms What is the best approach to amending existing delivery mechanisms to “WFD proof” them?


Hydromorphology

Hydromorphology

A fish swims into a wall.

Damn


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