• April 2, 2015


The Celtic League has posed a series of questions to the Isle of Man Department of Infrastructure about controversial plans to deposit dredged sediment on fields near Poortown on the west of the Isle of Man.

The sediment involved is known to be contaminated with heavy metals.

Correspondence set out below:

“The Minister for Infrastructure
Phillip Gawne MHK
Department of Infrastructure
Government Buildings
Isle of Man


Dear Minister,

Are you aware that over thirty years ago it was indentified in a scientific study that the Peel Harbour and the River Neb contained elevated concentrations of heavy metals including zinc, lead, copper and cadmium caused by caused initially by mine workings and leachate from those workings after they ceased? The survey looked at several harbour and estuary locations around the Island and Peel had the highest level of contamination. In relation to you decision to deposit silt from Peel harbour at an onshore location can we ask therefore:

a) Is the decision to deposit silt on an open field site (at Poortown) a secure option for the potentially contaminated material?

b) Has an independent environmental impact assessment of the level of contaminants in the silt to be removed been undertaken?

c) Has an independent long term impact assessment been undertaken for the site near Poortown which you intend to use?

d) Has the potential for leaching of contaminants from the removed material into ground water in the Poortown area been assessed?

e) Is your Department aware of a general report on contamination compiled some years ago by the British Armies Royal Engineers which showed that surface contamination of a comparatively small area could cause a dramatic spread of contamination if the surface contaminants eventually seeped through to the water table beneath the site?

f) Have any potential hazards been identified in relation to dredging the material from Peel Harbour and removing it via the Town of Peel to the Poortown site?

g) Is the reason for the on land storage/disposal of this material caused by the fact that the silt is to contaminated to be disposed of at sea?

If you require any clarification on these questions I will be pleased to meet with you to discuss same.

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”

Related news report link:


J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur)


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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