Sediment contaminant surveillance in Milford Haven Waterway

  • D. I. Little
  • B. Bullimore
  • Y. Galperin
  • W. J. Langston
Article

Abstract

Sediment contaminants were monitored in Milford Haven Waterway (MHW) since 1978 (hydrocarbons) and 1982 (metals), with the aim of providing surveillance of environmental quality in one of the UK’s busiest oil and gas ports. This aim is particularly important during and after large-scale investment in liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities. However, the methods inevitably have changed over the years, compounding the difficulties of coordinating sampling and analytical programmes. After a review by the MHW Environmental Surveillance Group (MHWESG), sediment hydrocarbon chemistry was investigated in detail in 2010. Natural Resources Wales (NRW) contributed their MHW data for 2007 and 2012, collected to assess the condition of the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) designated under the European Union Habitats Directive. Datasets during 2007–2012 have thus been more comparable. The results showed conclusively that a MHW-wide peak in concentrations of sediment polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals and other contaminants occurred in late 2007. This was corroborated by independent annual monitoring at one centrally located station with peaks in early 2008 and 2011. The spatial and temporal patterns of recovery from the 2007 peak, shown by MHW-wide surveys in 2010 and 2012, indicate several probable causes of contaminant trends, as follows: atmospheric deposition, catchment runoff, sediment resuspension from dredging, and construction of two LNG terminals and a power station. Adverse biological effects predictable in 2007 using international sediment quality guidelines were independently tested by data from monitoring schemes of more than a decade duration in MHW (starfish, limpets) and in the wider SAC (grey seals). Although not proving cause and effect, many of these potential biological receptors showed a simultaneous negative response to the elevated 2007 contamination following intense dredging activity in 2006. Wetland bird counts were typically at a peak in the winter of 2005–2006 previous to peak dredging. In the following winter 2006–2007, shelduck in the Pembroke River showed their lowest winter count, and spring 2007 was the largest ever drop in numbers of shelduck broods across MHW between successive breeding seasons. Wigeon counts in the Pembroke River were low in 2006-2007 and in late 2012 after further dredging nearby. These results are strongly supported by PAH data reported previously from invertebrate bioaccumulation studies in MHW 2007–2010, themselves closely reflecting sediment trends for PAHs in the Pembroke River and Angle Bay.

Keywords

Biological effects Construction Dredging Environmental impact assessment LNG Metals PAHs 

Supplementary material

10661_2015_5017_MOESM1_ESM.docx (336 kb)
ESM 1(DOCX 336 kb)

References

  1. Archer-Thomson, J. (2013). The continuing story of the limpets of Frenchman’s steps. Porcupine Marine Natural History Society Newsletter, 34, 22–27.Google Scholar
  2. Armitage, M. J. S., Burton, N. H. K., Rehfisch, M. M., & Clark, N. A. (1997). The Abundance and Distribution of Waterfowl within Milford Haven after the ‘Sea Empress’ oil spill (BTO Report 173 to the ‘Sea Empress’ Environmental Evaluation Committee).Google Scholar
  3. Austin, G. E., Read, W. J., Calbrade, N. A., Mellan, H. J., Musgrove, A. J., Skelhorn, A. J., Hearn, R. D., Stroud, D. A., Wotton, S. R., & Holt, C. A. (2014). Waterbirds in the UK 2011/12: the Wetland Bird Survey. In BTO, RSPB and JNCC, in association with WWT (p. 43). Thetford, U.K: British Trust for Ornithology.Google Scholar
  4. Bent, E. J. (2000). A Review of Environmental Studies in Milford Haven Waterway 1992–2000 (p. 65). Report to MHWESG.Google Scholar
  5. Boyle, D. P. (2012). Grey Seal Breeding Census (Countryside Council for Wales Regional Report CCW/WW/13/1, and WTSWW, p. 83).Google Scholar
  6. Bullimore, B. (2013). Milford Haven Waterway Environmental Surveillance Group: twenty years of partnership surveillance. Porcupine Marine Natural History Society Newsletter, 34, 69–73.Google Scholar
  7. Camplin, M. (2008). Neyland Dredge Spoil Disposal Environmental Monitoring (Countryside Council for Wales Report, p. 47).Google Scholar
  8. Cardiff University. (2012). An Analysis of Economic Activity Dependent on the Milford Haven waterway (Report to Milford Haven Port Authority, February 2012, p. 23).Google Scholar
  9. Carey, D. A., Hayn, M., Germano, J. D., Little, D. I., & Bullimore, B. (2015). Marine habitat mapping of the Milford Haven Waterway, Wales, UK: comparison of facies mapping and EUNIS Classification for monitoring sediment habitats in an industrialized estuary. Proceedings of the Mesh Atlantic Conference, Special Issue, Journal of Sea Research, 100, 99–119. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2014.09.012.Google Scholar
  10. Carls, M. G., Holland, L., Larsen, M., Collier, T. K., Scholz, N. L., & Incardona, J. P. (2008). Fish embryos are damaged by dissolved PAHs, not oil particles. Aquat Toxicol, 88(2), 121–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cascade Consulting. (2011). Yacht Havens Ltd Briefing Note: Neyland Yacht Haven Monitoring Results: Particle Size Analysis, April 2011 Monitoring.Google Scholar
  12. Crump, R. G. (2013). Asterina species in SW. Wales. Porcupine Marine Natural History Society Newsletter, 34, 38–41.Google Scholar
  13. CSEMP. (2014). Clean Safe Seas Environmental Monitoring Programme. Accessed 2014 via the MERMAN database. www.bodc.ac.uk/projects/uk/merman/.Google Scholar
  14. DECC. (2013). Sub-national road transport fuel consumption (Department of Energy and Climate Change, Publication URN: 13D/107, Office of National Statistics). http://www.ons.gov.uk/ (revised June 2013).Google Scholar
  15. DEFRA. (2014). Air quality data (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). http://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/data/pah-data.Google Scholar
  16. Edwards, A., Garwood, P., & Kendall, M. (1992). The Gann Flat, Dale: thirty years on. Field Stud, 8, 59–75.Google Scholar
  17. Eggleton, J., & Thomas, K. V. (2004). A review of factors affecting the release and bioavailability of contaminants during sediment disturbance events. Environ Int, 30, 973–980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Elliott, M., & Griffiths, A. H. (1987). Contamination and effects of hydrocarbons on the Forth ecosystem, Scotland. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 93B, 327–342.Google Scholar
  19. ETS. (2002). Neyland Yacht Haven Dredge Spoil Monitoring Survey (Environmental Tracing Systems Limited Report to Neyland Yacht Haven, p. 39).Google Scholar
  20. FoE. (2010). Pembroke Power Station Complaint to European Commission. Friends of the Earth Cymru, Cardiff. (p. 27).Google Scholar
  21. Fugro ERT. (2012). Investigation into the Source of Hydrocarbons Present in Sediment Samples from Milford Haven Waterway (Report to MHWESG, p. 43).Google Scholar
  22. Germano & Associates, Inc. (2013). Sediment-Profile Imaging Survey of Milford Haven Estuary, Wales, UK—May 2012 (Report to MHWESG, 50 pp + Appendices).Google Scholar
  23. GTS Subsea. (2010). Report on the Sampling of Marine Sediment at Pennar Gut, Milford Haven, August 2010 (For Jacobs Engineering Ltd., Seabed sampling and analysis by GTS Subsea, p. 16).Google Scholar
  24. Habitats Directive. (1992). Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora (transposed into UK regulations). http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1994/Uksi_19942716_en_1.htm.Google Scholar
  25. Haycock, A. (2013). A Review of the Status of Wetland Birds in the Milford Haven Waterway and Daugleddau Estuary (Report to MHWESG, p. 123).Google Scholar
  26. Hebog Environmental (Hebog). (2006). Milford Haven Maintenance Dredging Assessment: Biological and Sediment Characterisation Report (HE1632, p. 50).Google Scholar
  27. Hobbs, G., & Morgan, C. I. (1992). A Review of the Current State of Environmental Knowledge of the Milford Haven Waterway (p. 140). Pembroke, UK: Report to the MHWESG by the FSC Research Centre.Google Scholar
  28. Klamer, J. C., Hegeman, W. J. M., & Smedes, F. (1990). Comparison of grain size correction procedures for organic micropollutants and heavy metals in marine sediments. Hydrobiologia, 208, 213–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Krauss, M., & Wilcke, W. (2002). Sorption strength of persistent organic pollutants in particle-size fractions of urban soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J, 66, 430–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Langston, W. J., O’Hara, S. C., Pope, N. D., Davey, M., Shortridge, E., Imamura, M., Harino, H., Kim, A., & Vane, C. H. (2012a). Bioaccumulation surveillance in Milford Haven Waterway. Environ Monit Assess, 184(1), 289–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Langston, W. J., Pope, N. D., O’Hara, S., Davey, M., Shortridge, E., Harino, H., & Vane, C. H. (2012b). Bioaccumulation Surveillance in Milford Haven Waterway, Phase II (2010) (Report by the Marine Biological Association to MHWESG, p. 109).Google Scholar
  32. Levell, D., Hobbs, G., Smith, J., & Law, R. J. (1997). The Effects of the ‘Sea Empress’ Oil Spill on the Subtidal Benthos of the Milford Haven Waterway: a Comparison of Survey Data from October 1993 and October 1996 (Report to the Environment Agency by OPRU/CordaH no. OPRU/22/97).Google Scholar
  33. Lewis, K. (2015). The framework for environmental regulation in Wales: Natural Resources Wales speaks with ‘one voice’—has the statutory voice for nature been silenced? Environmental Law Review, 17(3), 189–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Little, D. I. (1987). Time Sequence and Fate of Contaminant Inputs in Sediment Cores from Milford Haven. OPRU Report to the Institute of Petroleum.Google Scholar
  35. Little, D. I. (2009). Sediment Contaminants and Transport Review (Report to MHWESG, p. 414).Google Scholar
  36. Little, D. I., & Bullimore, B. (2015). Discussion of: McLaren, P., Sediment trend analysis (STA®): kinematic vs. dynamic modeling. Journal of Coastal Research, 2014, 30(3), 429–437. Journal of Coastal Research 31(1), 224–232. http://dx.doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-14-00108.1.Google Scholar
  37. Little, D. I., & Little, A. E. (1991). Estuarine oil spill effects in the context of dispersant use changes. San Diego, California: Proceedings 1991 International Oil Spill Conference, March 4–7, 1991.Google Scholar
  38. Little, D. I., & McLaren, P. (1989). Sediment and contaminant transport in Milford Haven. In B. Dicks (Ed.), Ecological impacts of the oil industry (pp. 203–234). Chichester and New York: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  39. Little, D. I., Howells, S. E., Abbiss, T. P., & Rostron, D. (1987). Some factors affecting the fate of estuarine sediment hydrocarbons and trace metals in Milford Haven. In P. J. Coughtrey, M. H. Martin, & M. H. Unsworth (Eds.), Pollutant transport and fate in ecosystems (pp. 55–87). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  40. Little, D. I., Galperin, Y., Bullimore, B., & Camplin, M. (2015). Environmental forensics evaluation of sources of sediment hydrocarbon contamination in Milford Haven Waterway. Environ Sci: Processes and Impacts, 17, 398–420. http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c4em00522h.Google Scholar
  41. Little, D. I., & Galperin, Y. (in press). The assessment of hydrocarbon contamination in contrasting sedimentary environments. In K. Heimann, O. P. Karthikeyan, & S. S. Muthu (Eds.), Biodegradation and bioconversion of hydrocarbons: research advances and recent developments. Singapore: Springer. ISBN: 978-981-10-0199-4.Google Scholar
  42. Longdin and Browning (Surveys) Limited. (2002). Milford Haven Sediment Plume Tracking, 2002 Survey Report H4776, 16 pp + 9 Appendices.Google Scholar
  43. McLaren, P., & Little, D. I. (1987). The effects of sediment transport on contaminant dispersal: an example from Milford Haven. Mar Poll Bull, 18(11), 586–594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. MHPA. (2011). Milford Haven Port Authority: Dredging Strategy Document (Revision 1, Anthony Bates Partnership Limited, p. 66).Google Scholar
  45. Morgan, C. I., King, G. A. D., & Evans, S. B. (1996). Environmental management in Milford Haven: an integrated approach. In Jones, Healy and Williams (Ed.), Studies in European coastal management. Cardigan: Samara Publishing Limited. ISBN 1 873692 07 2.Google Scholar
  46. Musgrove, A. J., Collier, M. P., Banks, A. N., Calbrade, N. A., Hearn, R. D., & Austin, G. E. (2007). Waterbirds in the UK 2005–06: Wetland Bird Survey (BTO, WWT, RSPB and JNCC, Thetford, U.K: British Trust for Ornithology, p. 207).Google Scholar
  47. Nelson-Smith, A. (1965). Marine biology of Milford Haven: the physical environment. Field Stud, 2, 155–188.Google Scholar
  48. Newell, R. C., Seiderer, L. J., & Hitchcock, D. R. (1998). The impact of dredging works in coastal waters: a review of the sensitivity to disturbance and subsequent recovery of biological resources on the seabed. Oceanogr Mar Biol Ann Rev, 36, 127–178.Google Scholar
  49. NMMP. (2004). UK National Marine Monitoring Programme—Second Report for 1999–2001 (CEFAS). ISBN 0 907545 20 3.Google Scholar
  50. OSPAR. (2009a). OSPAR Coordinated Environmental Monitoring Programme (CEMP) (OSPAR reference number: 2009–1).Google Scholar
  51. OSPAR. (2009b). Agreement on CEMP Assessment Criteria for the QSR 2010. OSPAR agreement:, 2009–2.Google Scholar
  52. OSPAR. (2009c). Background Document on CEMP Assessment Criteria for the QSR 2010 (Monitoring and Assessment Series).Google Scholar
  53. PCNPA. (2014). Daugleddau Estuary and Milford Haven Waterway Annual Surveillance of Summer Shelduck Populations, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority Report to MHWESG (p. 42).Google Scholar
  54. Prater, A. J. (1981). Estuary Birds of Britain and Ireland (T. and A. D. Poyser Ltd, p. 440).Google Scholar
  55. Rostron, D. M., Little, D. I., & Howells, S. E. (1986). A study of the sediments and communities in Milford Haven, Wales. Oil and Chemical Pollution, 3, 131–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. RWE npower. (2007). Proposed Pembroke Power Station Consolidated Environmental Statement. internet fragments accessed 2013, originally available at http://www.marinemanagement.org.uk/works/environmental_pembroke.htm but now archived.Google Scholar
  57. Van Straaten, L. M. J., & Kuenen, P. H. (1958). Tidal action as a cause of clay accumulation. J Sed Pet, 28(4), 406–413.Google Scholar
  58. Warwick, R. M. (2006). Review of Benthic and Intertidal Sediment Macrofauna Data, and Development of a Surveillance Programme (Report to MHWESG, p. 105).Google Scholar
  59. Warwick, R. M. (2007). Analysis, Comparison and Interpretation of Macrobenthic and Seabed Sediment Data for St Bride’s Bay, South Hook LNG and Dragon LNG, 2006–2007 (Report to Milford Haven Port Authority, 42 pp + Appendices).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. I. Little
    • 1
  • B. Bullimore
    • 2
  • Y. Galperin
    • 3
  • W. J. Langston
    • 4
  1. 1.Environmental ConsultancyCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Deep Green Seas, Marine Environmental ConsultancyHaverfordwestUK
  3. 3.Environmental Geochemistry ConsultingMoorparkUSA
  4. 4.Marine Biological AssociationPlymouthUK

Personalised recommendations