Avoca Mines, Wicklow

Maps and copies of any site reports (2003, 2008, 2012 with monitoring reports to 2019)

THE AVOCA MINE SITE, Vincent Gallagher and Pat O’Connor

Pollution of the Avoca River by mine water discharging from drainage adits of abandoned copper and sulphur mines at Avoca, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, is a long-recognised problem. In addition there is diffuse flow into the river. The river is severely affected by the mine water and is considered by the EPA to be the most severely polluted stretch of river in Ireland.

Many studies have taken place relating to the Avoca River and its remediation. Among these, the University of Newcastle, in connection with the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board, produced a report in July 2003 entitled Restoring the Avoca River.

The Newcastle report is here:

http://www.fishingireland.net/environment/avocareport.html

The preferred option for remediation was active treatment. However this can only be applied to the point discharges and does not take into account the diffuse flow and contaminated river sediments which are also contaminating the river quality.

The Camp Dresser McKee Ltd (CDM) report on the feasibility of managing and remediating the former mine site at Avoca, Co. Wicklow was completed in December 2008 and recommends active treatment of the point discharges into the Avoca River as well as treating the principal (spoil piles) cause of the contamination.

This Feasibility study also recognizes the importance of the diffuse flow and contaminated sediments and provides solutions for these also.

This report can be downloaded as PDF files from the links below:

Feasibility Study for the Management and Remediation of the Avoca Mining Site (2008)

Full report

Click to access CDMFeasibilityStudyFullReportDecember2008.pdf

Investigative Reports:
Data Report
Conceptual Site Model
Human Health Risk Assessment
Ecological Risk Assessment

Click to access CDMAvocaFeasibilityStudyInvestigativeReportsVolIDec2008.pdf

Click to access CDMAvocaFeasibilityStudyInvestigativeReportsVolIIDec2008.pdf

Environmental Monitoring at Avoca

In addition to the remediation work, continued monitoring to ensure no significant change in conditions occurs on site without detection was being provided for by way of a specialised Environmental Monitoring service

Note: the monitoring reports are not published after 2019, so unclear if the monitoring in ongoing

Avoca Monitoring Report Round 3 2019 (pdf, 9MB)

Avoca Monitoring Report Round 2 2018 (pdf, 19MB)

Avoca Monitoring Report Round 1 2018 (pdf, 4MB)

Avoca Monitoring Report Round 1 2017 (pdf, 7MB)

Avoca Monitoring Report Round 2 2016 (pdf, 6MB)

Avoca Monitoring Report Round 1 2016 (pdf, 7MB)

Avoca Monitoring Report Round 2 2015 (pdf, 10MB)

Avoca Monitoring Report Round 1 2015 (pdf, 9MB)

Avoca Monitoring Report Round 2 2014 (pdf, 8MB)

Avoca Monitoring Report Round 1 2014 (pdf, 9MB)

Avoca Monitoring Report Round 2 2013 (pdf, 10MB)

Avoca Monitoring Report Round 1 2013 (pdf, 9MB)

Evaluation of Rehabilitation Alternatives at the Abandoned Avoca Mining Site in Ireland (2012)

GIS Characterisation of Extract, Pre Landfill BluePrint, and Proposed Landfill Design (EPA Report)

https://t.co/55eIWeqFw7

Also see

The Avoca Mines

Avoca Mines: Uncontrolled Acid Mine Drainage in Ireland https://www.imwa.info/docs/imwa_1999/IMWA1999_Wright_551.pdf

IMC’S TAILINGS AND SPOILS AVOCA, Co Wicklow (PL 3849 and PL 3850) https://t.co/5lFphTSMMd

PQs on remediation budget

https://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2020-09-15a.372

To date, in excess of €5 million has been expended on remediation and monitoring costs at the site. Works undertaken include: the capping of open shafts; addressing the stability of the Dublin Rosslare railway line which passes through the site; regrading and capping the mine waste area at Tigroney West and constructing surface drains to divert the surface flow around or across the capped area into the river and vegetating the capped surface.  A number of actions were also undertaken to preserve mining heritage features on the site, notably the complete rehabilitation of a pair of historic ore bins.

https://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2020-11-03a.674

“An annual inspection of an underground tunnel, the 850 Adit, raised safety concerns about a section of the tunnel which passes under a local residential road in 2019.  This necessitated emergency repairs to the Adit between January and June 2020 to ensure its stability.

The Department allocated €1.1m funding for Avoca in 2020 of which in excess of €900,000 has been spent to date on the recent safety work undertaken at the 850 Adit. Funding of €450,000 is expected to be allocated for 2021. This funding will further support the monitoring of the site and will be used to re-evaluate the 2008 Feasibility study as a first step in the process to reappraise the approach to managing and restoring the site.”

https://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2022-01-19a.382

“In excess of €5 million has been expended on remediation and monitoring costs at the site. As well as the health and safety work, environmental monitoring of the site is undertaken to ensure no significant change in conditions occurs without detection. Department has allocated €450,000 in 2022 to further support the monitoring and maintenance of the Avoca mines and to re-evaluate the 2008 Feasibility study to reappraise the approach to managing and restoring the site.”

AIE Request

Under the AIE Regs to request details of

– the chair and members of the Project Board for the Avoca Mine Site in Wicklow
– agendas/minutes of Project Board meetings for 2020 to current date
– any reports generated by the Project Board in relation to the site from 2020 to current date
– copies of any Monitoring Reports completed after “Avoca Monitoring Report Round 3 2019”

For reference the Project Board is mentioned by Minister here

https://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2020-09-15a.372

Avoca Monitoring Report Round 3 2019 is the last published environmental monitoring report

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