Cost, pollution, noise… Everything you need to know about sediment storage in Ourlèdes

They confide that they see no doubt about the fact that in the end, the prefecture will grant them the authorization to exploit the land of Ourlèdes but they still want to make their explanations heard. Side by side, town hall and port want to reassure about the consequences of the sediment recovery center project they are preparing.

They are indeed competent to install in this corner of the countryside, between Gapeau and saline, a storage area to let the sludge extracted from the ports of the commune dry during the dredging carried out at the end of winter. Objective: to then be able to reuse the sand and recover it. “It has nothing to do with an open landfill”, annoys Fabrice Werber, deputy director general of services.

By discovering in our columns that a procedure was underway to obtain the prefectural green light, the neighbors have indeed expressed their concerns.

Scentless ?

No, it won’t feel bad. “No more than a bench of posidonia drying on the beach” sighs Jean-Luc Brunel, deputy for ports, beaches and islands. The elected official assures that local residents never suffer from the pestilential odors they fear.

What about noise?

A crushing center just a stone’s throw from a campsite swimming pool is the dreadful nightmare feared by local residents. Here again, the authorities want to debunk this idea. “There will be no crushing but only screening, promises Cédric L’Henaff, director of ports. And no more than a few days a year to separate the different grain sizes of sand and make better use of it.”

According to him, there is no risk either of seeing this activity raising a cloud of dust, it will be carried out on sand that is still slightly damp. An operation scheduled for the end of spring.

And traffic in all this?

The calculations of the residents present at 1,200 the number of annual passages of trucks on the site… and the narrow secondary road which leads there. A largely overvalued figure for the port director. “The volume of sand to be extracted during dredging depends on the easterly storms we have during the winter. But this year, for example, we extracted a little less than 2,000 cubic meters, so that makes us 120 trucks… not 1,200”.

What about pollution?

Residents are worried about seeing sediments loaded with pollutants such as heavy metals or hydrocarbons deposited in Ourlèdes. Port funds do not have a good reputation.

“But let them be reassured, we are obliged to carry out analyzes each time and we communicate the results assures Fabrice Weber. If the sediments are clean, they go to Ourlèdes to be recovered. If they are not, they keep the status of waste and go to a specialized center”, completes Cédric L’Henaff.

In addition, those responsible for the project guarantee that the area chosen is not subject to flooding and that a waterproof tarpaulin prevents any infiltration into the water table.

How much does it cost?

This is not a question asked by local residents, but those responsible for public money must specify that the center of Ourlèdes must allow the town hall and the ports to make pretty savings. Currently the transport and treatment of sediment costs 70 to 80 euros per tonne and the overall budget is calculated in hundreds of thousands of euros per year. A very heavy cost for the ports. With the center of Ourlèdes, the bill could very likely be reduced.

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