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Debate, Borg Havn | Dredging at Borg harbour: “Red is troubled”

Debate post This is a debate entry, written by an external contributor. The post expresses the writer’s views.

On 24 October trial dredging of the fairway to Borg harbor will begin. It will be the first phase of a large-scale project that will deepen the fairway so that ship traffic to the harbor will be safer.

Rødt Fredrikstad sees the need for an improvement and dredging of the fairway. This will reduce the likelihood of ground collisions and collisions, and thus the risk of environmental pollution. Borg harbor is a large workplace, and the transport of goods by ship is an important factor when it comes to emissions of greenhouse gases.

The project is of such a comprehensive nature that it was only natural to raise it to national level. When the national transport plan for 2022–2033 was up in the Storting in 2021, the deepening of access to Borg Harbor was decided as a priority in the first six-year period. Prior to this, the case was up for hearing in Fredrikstad. There, Rødt voted for the proposal from the MDG to ensure the most careful maintenance dredging possible – with land disposal. We still stand for that.

The question is not whether dredging should be carried out, but how – or more precisely: Should dredging materials be deposited on land or in the sea? In the first part of the project, the Norwegian Coastal Administration will store 0.2 million cubic meters on land, while 0.5 million cubic meters will be in a marine landfill. There are highly contaminated masses that are to be landfilled, lightly contaminated or clean ones in a marine landfill. The Norwegian Environment Agency has given its permission for this.

It is the sea disposal that makes us in Rødt Fredrikstad uneasy. Particles from the mud masses will be dispersed while the deposition itself takes place, and we are not convinced that the masses will not be ground down and carried away with the currents over time. The Norwegian Coastal Administration must monitor the marine landfill for 10 years – what happens after that time? Based on a precautionary principle, we believe that all mass must be cleaned and deposited on land in an environmentally sound manner.

The situation now, however, is that the Norwegian Coastal Administration can act within the permissions that the Norwegian Environment Agency has granted. The emphasis must therefore be on monitoring whether the Norwegian Coastal Administration operates within these, and acting forcefully to have the project stopped if this does not happen. Rødt Fredrikstad provides full support to environmental organizations and those involved who focus on this task.

The article is in Norwegian


Tags: Debate Borg Havn Dredging Borg harbour Red troubled

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