Recycling HDD arisings

HDD (Horizontal Directional Drilling) under the Solent for two gas pipelines. 4500 tonnes of arisings went to proximity farm land.

From a farming point of view, offering to accept the arisings from HDD (Horizontal Directional Drilling) has advantages, other than getting a little cash from crossing through your gate (a “gate fee”). Generally, the “cuttings” from drilling will add mineral particles to replace erosion losses. (2 to 3 million tonnes are lost to the sea every year.)  Sometime, the drill has gone through chalk and this is probably less contaminated than agricultural lime. There may be some very small advantage from the spent fluids, too.

From a wider environment point of view, recycling to proximity land gets trucks off the public road and does not waste space in declining landfill. Regulation and permissions? Well, there are usually good, soil science-based arguments to support this recycling but it does take time.  Fortunately, there are changes coming in the Environment Agency which may make recycling to land easier (where there are good science-based reasons and evidence) and, hopefully, quicker.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 24 July 18

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