The Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Noel Dempsey, announced today that consultants CDM have been appointed to carry out a major study for the management and remediation of the Avoca mining area.
They have already commenced work on the study which is scheduled for completion in May 2008.
The project is managed by the Geological Survey of Ireland (Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources) in close association with the Exploration and Mining Division of the Department and with Wicklow County Council.
The Avoca area has a long history of mining dating back to 1720. The scope of work will take into account the unique character of the Avoca site with respect to health & safety, the environment, the Avoca River and tributaries, specialised habitats, material assets, heritage, tourism and potential future developments in the area.
Initial field evaluations have taken place in the Avoca area. These are being used to plan and schedule the more detailed field surveys and sampling, which will take place during the summer and autumn. The study will lead to a costed proposal for the remediation and long term management of the Avoca site.
Information sessions and a workshop are envisaged over the course of the study to keep local residents and other stakeholders informed and to allow their participation. These will be advertised in advance in the local press.
"My intention is to ensure that the state of Avoca Mining Area is made acceptable to all the local residents and to restore the area to sustainable land uses. I hope that the prospect of a locally devised solution to the problem will spur partnership between the local residents, the County Council and the consultants who are carrying out the review," commented Minister Dempsey on making the announcement.