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10.1.1

MARINE ECOLOGY Introduction


This Chapter of the ES provides an assessment of the potential impacts to marine ecology in respect of the proposed temporary jetty during the construction, operation and subsequent dismantling and restoration phases. In addition it considers the impacts associated with removal of the jetty and site reinstatement should the IPC not grant a DCO. Where appropriate, mitigation measures are proposed to reduce potential adverse impacts. a) Scoping of Assessment Scoping

10.1.2

An Environmental Scoping Report for the jetty development was produced in March 2010 (Ref 10.1), which provided a summary of baseline environmental conditions for the study area and information on likely environmental effects relating to marine ecology. A Scoping Opinion (Ref 10.2) was received from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) in June 2010 (see Appendix 5-1, Volume 4). This Scoping Opinion included responses from a range of organisations, including the Environment Agency, Natural England, the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW), Somerset County Council and West Somerset and Sedgemoor District Councils. In relation to marine ecology the Scoping Opinion raised a number of points, notably a requirement to consider if the works could impact on Sabellaria reef or Corallina turfs on the foreshore (see Section 10.5), as well as a requirement for a thorough assessment to be carried out of potential cumulative impacts (see Chapter 25). The Scoping Opinion has been taken into account during the preparation of this Chapter (see Annex 10.1 at the end of the Chapter). Consultation

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10.1.4 10.1.5

The assessment of impacts on marine ecology as reported in this Chapter has been informed by detailed consultations with relevant bodies dating back to 2008. On 3 November 2008 an initial meeting was held with Natural England and Somerset County Council) to discuss and agree the proposed scope and range of near shore and offshore marine ecological surveys to be undertaken. A Method Statement was issued prior to the meeting and Natural England confirmed that it was content with the proposed surveys but requested a full 12 months baseline survey period for certain key species. A subsequent meeting was held with Natural England and CCW on 16 January 2009. It was agreed that the Revised Method Statement for Marine Ecology (revised following the initial meeting) would be sent to Natural England and CCW for any further comment. CCW raised the issue of potential impacts to Welsh Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), including the River Wye, River Usk and River Tywi, partly designated for the following fish species: sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus, brook lamprey Lampetra planeri , twaite shad Alosa fallax, Atlantic salmon Salmo salar and bullhead Cottus gobio. However, due to the limited nature of the potential impacts associated with the jetty development and the distance of the works from these features, separate assessments have not been undertaken for these sites (see Section 10.5).

10.1.6

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Environmental Statement November 2010

10.1.7

Comments were received on the proposed marine ecology methodology (CCW 09/02/09 and Natural England 12/02/09) but no further changes to survey design were requested other than the previously agreed extension of the survey period. Natural England agreed that marine mammals could reasonably be addressed through desk-based assessment. A series of meetings were held with the Marine Authorities Liaison Group (MALG) to discuss all stages of the assessment and the jetty development engineering and construction design. MALG members include the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), CCW, Natural England, Environment Agency, MMO, Somerset County Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Crown Estates, English Heritage and West Somerset Council. A summary of marine ecology issues discussed at these meetings is presented in Annex 10.2 (located at the end of this Chapter). Following a meeting between EDF Energy and the Environment Agency and Natural England on 23 July 2010, the Environment Agency provided a written response dated 6 August 2010. The marine ecology elements of this response are also reviewed in Annex 10.2. Assessment Content

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10.1.9

10.1.10

The assessment of impacts on marine ecology receptors arising from the jetty development has been undertaken for the study area and uses the best practices and standard methodologies as described in Section 10.3. The baseline conditions described in Section 10.4 are based on a number of surveys undertaken by EDF Energy of the wider scale environmental and ecological characteristics up to 15km from the application site as well as others that focussed on the proposed working areas both offshore and in the inter-tidal zone at Hinkley Point. Impacts on marine ecology are assessed in Section 10.5. This includes potential impacts on marine ecology receptors. Appropriate mitigation measures that are aimed at reducing the impact of the proposed jetty on marine ecology receptors are identified in Section 10.6. The residual impacts following implementation of the mitigation measures are presented in Section 10.7. A summary of the impact assessment in tabulated form is provided in Section 10.8. The cumulative effects on marine ecology are assessed and set out in Chapter 25. For this assessment, the effects of the proposed jetty works are assessed cumulatively with: the site preparation works; the Hinkley Point C Project; and other relevant plans and projects.

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10.1.12

10.1.13

b) Objectives of Assessment 10.1.14 The assessment had the following objectives: identify marine ecology receptors within the study area that may potentially be affected by the jetty development; characterise the baseline environmental and ecological conditions against which any potential impacts can be measured;

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Environmental Statement November 2010

assess the impacts on marine ecology receptors of the jetty developments construction, operation, dismantling / restoration and, if no DCO consent is granted, removal and site reinstatement phases; provide information to inform any Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) (this assessment will be submitted after the application for a HEO); recommend mitigation measures, if determined necessary, to reduce the jetty developments impacts on marine ecology; and assess the residual impacts of the jetty development on marine ecology.

10.2

Legislation, Policy and Guidance


a) International Legislation and Policy The Ramsar Convention of Wetlands of International Importance 1971 (Ref 10.3)

10.2.1

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance 1971 provides the framework for national action and international co-operation for the conservation and considerate use of wetlands and their resources. Suitable wetlands are designated for inclusion in the List of Wetlands of International Importance. Many Ramsar sites are also Special Protection Areas (SPAs) classified under the Birds Directive (see below) as a result of selection of sites of importance to waterbirds within the UK. Of relevance to the proposed development is the Severn Estuary Ramsar status. The Severn Estuary Ramsar site is designated due to a number of attributes, including: the high tidal range, the presence of Annex I habitats protected under the Habitats Directive (see below), the presence of unusual estuarine communities (reduced diversity and high productivity), the run of migratory fish between the sea and river via the estuary, the fish of the whole estuarine and river system which is one of the most diverse in Britain, and wildfowl and wader assemblages and species/populations of international importance. The Bridgwater Bay National Nature Reserve (NNR) was designated a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. Although this designation applies to ornithological interest, this interest is in part dependent on the marine food resources that are described and assessed in this Chapter and the Convention is therefore of relevance in that respect. The Convention on Biological Diversity 1992 (Ref 10.4)

10.2.2

This Convention focuses on the conservation of all species and ecosystems and therefore provides protection to all biodiversity. The Convention requires the development of national strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. In accordance with this the UK developed Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) (see below for further information). For inter-tidal and sub-tidal zones, Species, Habitat, and Biodiversity Action Plans have been developed and are considered in the evaluation of features potentially affected by the development. The action plans provide guidance for the conservation and management of biodiversity within the natural environment and are taken account of in this impact assessment. The Oslo Paris (OSPAR) Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (Ref. 10.5)

10.2.3

Annex V of the Convention provides a framework for contracting parties to develop their own conservation measures. Article 2 requires parties to take necessary measures to protect and conserve the ecosystems and the biological diversity of the maritime area, and to restore, where practicable, marine areas which have already been adversely
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affected. Guidelines have been developed for the selection and management of Marine Protected Areas and a series of Ecological Quality Objectives are being developed. b) European Legislation EC Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds (2009/147 EC) (Ref 10.6) 10.2.4 The Birds Directive aims to protect all wild birds, their eggs, nests and habitats within the EC. It also provides for the protection, management and control of all species of naturally occurring wild birds that are considered rare or vulnerable within the EC as listed in Annex I of the Directive. Under the Directive the most suitable areas for the conservation of these species (land and sea) are classified at EU level as SPAs. In England and Wales the Directive is implemented under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. Of specific relevance to the proposed development is the Severn Estuary SPA. The Severn Estuary qualifies as an SPA under Article 4.1 of the Birds Directive because it is classified as a wetland of international importance regularly supporting at least 20,000 waterfowl. In addition, it supports internationally important populations of over wintering birds and birds on passage (see Chapter 11). Although this designation applies to ornithological interest, this interest is in part dependent on marine food resources that are described and assessed in this Chapter and the Directive is therefore of relevance in this respect. EC Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora (92/43/EEC) (EC Habitats Directive) (Ref 10.7) 10.2.6 Under the Habitats Directive, Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) can be designated to maintain or restore the habitats listed in Annex I and the species listed in Annex II of the Directive to favourable conservation status. Favourable Conservation Status is defined in the context of habitats as the establishment of conditions which will ensure that the extent and range of the habitat and the populations of the species within that habitat will be maintained or increased over time. In relation to species; the viability, population size and range of the species should be maintained in the long term. In England and Wales the Directive is implemented under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. Of specific relevance to the proposed development is the Severn Estuary SAC. The designation of the SAC is due primarily to the presence of the Annex I habitats: 'Atlantic salt meadows', 'estuaries' and 'mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide'. The Annex I habitats: 'sandbanks which are slightly covered by seawater all the time' and 'reefs' are also present as qualifying features, but are not the primary reasons for the designation. The site is also designated due to the presence of the Annex II species: twaite shad Alosa fallax, sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus and river lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis. The Water Framework Directive (2000/60EC) (Ref 10.8) 10.2.8 The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is the framework European legislation relating to the protection of water quality and ecological status of freshwaters and coastal waters and is, therefore, of relevance to the assessment of impacts on marine ecological receptors.

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10.2.7

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10.2.9

The WFD provides a mechanism by which disparate regulatory controls on human activities that have the potential to impact on water quality may be managed effectively and consistently. In addition to a range of inland surface and groundwaters, the WFD covers transitional waters (estuaries and lagoons) and coastal waters up to one nautical mile from mean low water (the baseline from which territorial waters are measured). Under the WFD all UK surface waters have been identified as waterbodies with meaningful typologies that relate to physical and ecological characteristics. Based upon ecology and water quality, these water bodies have been classified as falling into one of five status classes. The WFD requires that all inland and coastal waters must reach at least good status by 2015 and defines how this should be achieved through the establishment of environmental objectives and ecological targets for surface waters. EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (Ref 10.9)

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The objective of the EUs Marine Strategy Framework Directive is for EU marine waters to achieve good environmental status by 2021 and to protect the resource base upon which marine-related economic and social activities depend. This Directive constitutes the environmental component of the EUs future maritime policy which has been designed to achieve the full economic potential of the oceans and seas while conserving the marine environment and is therefore of relevance to the assessment of impacts on marine ecological receptors. Under the Directive, each Member State within a marine region is required to develop strategies for their marine waters. These strategies must contain a detailed assessment of the state of the environment, a definition of good environmental status at a regional level and the environmental targets and the establishment of monitoring programmes. Cost-effective measures must be drawn up which include an impact assessment which details a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed measures. European Eel Regulation (Ref. 10. 10)

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This Regulation established measures for the recovery of the stock of European eel. The UK submitted 15 Eel Management Plans for approval by the European Commission in December 2008. These plans are set at the River Basin District level, as defined under the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC, covering England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Eel Management Plans have been implemented from 2010 for the Severn Catchment (Ref 10.11) and for South West England river basins, including the River Parrett (Ref 10.12), which aim to provide an escapement of silver eel biomass that is at least equal to 40% of the potential escapement to be expected in the absence of anthropogenic influence. In addition, the European Eel Regulation requires that a system is in place to ensure that by 2013, 60% of eel less than 12cm long which are caught commercially each year are used for restocking in suitable habitat. c) UK Legislation

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10.2.15

The following environmental legislation is applicable to the proposed development:

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The Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) (England and Wales) Regulations 2003 SI 3242 (Ref 10.13) 10.2.16 The Regulations provide the mechanism to implement river basin districts within England and Wales in accordance with the WFD Directive. The Regulations require a new strategic planning process to be established for the purpose of managing, protecting and improving the quality of water resources. Since the jetty development could affect water quality, which could in turn indirectly affect marine ecology, the Regulations are therefore of relevance herein. The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2010) (Ref 10.14) 10.2.17 The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (the Habitats Regulations) consolidate and update the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994. The 1994 Regulations transposed Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora (EC Habitats Directive) into national law. The Regulations implement the Habitats and Birds Directives (described earlier) and make provision for the protection and management of sites, including the control of potentially damaging operations that may affect designated sites. The Severn Estuary European Marine Site (EMS) is not a statutory site designation but comprises the Severn Estuary SAC, SPA and Ramsar site. It represents a management unit for those parts of Natura 2000 sites which extend beyond the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Advice on management and protection of the constituent designated sites is provided by Natural England and CCW under Regulation 33 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (now part of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010). The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) (Ref 10.15) 10.2.19 The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Act (as amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CRoW)) (the Act) consolidates and amends existing legislation to implement the Bern Convention and the Birds Directive. The Act strengthens provisions under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 to establish National Nature Reserves (NNRs) in England and Wales. The legislation provides for the designation, protection and management of NNRs which can be established on land and land covered by water so can therefore extend into the inter-tidal zone but not below low water (e.g. the Bridgwater Bay NNR). These areas can be designated for their flora, fauna or geological interests. The Act provides for the designation of SSSIs and Marine Nature Reserves. The Bridgwater Bay SSSI is designated for a number of reasons including the inter-tidal mudflats and saltmarshes and associated communities, the internationally and nationally important numbers of over-wintering and passage migrant wildfowl and waders and a number of other features. Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (Ref 10.16) 10.2.20 The Countryside and Rights of Way Act increases protection for SSSIs and strengthens wildlife enforcement legislation (and is therefore of relevance to the assessment of impacts on marine ecological receptors). The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (Ref 10.17) 10.2.21 The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (the Act) aims to enable better protection of marine ecosystems and prevent a decline in marine biodiversity. The Act sets out
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provisions for more coherent planning in the marine environment in terms of issuing consents and permits for activities in the marine and coastal environment. It provides for enhanced protection of the marine environment and biodiversity, improved management of freshwater and migratory fisheries in England and Wales and improved access to the English coast. The Act contains provisions to allow for the designation of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) and the creation of a network or Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). As one of the Acts aims is to protect marine ecosystems it is of relevance to the consideration of the impacts of the jetty development on marine ecology. Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act (Ref 10.18) 10.2.22 The Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 (SAFFA) applies to salmon, trout (including sea trout) and freshwater fish and, following implementation of the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009) (Ref 10.17), smelt and lampreys, This legislation is therefore of relevance to the assessment of impacts on marine ecological receptors. d) National Policy Planning Policy Statement (PPS9): Biodiversity and Geological Conservation (Ref 10.19) 10.2.23 PPS9 sets out the Governments national planning policies on the protection of biodiversity and geological conservation. Government objectives in relation to biodiversity and geological conservation aim to conserve, enhance and restore biodiversity, and promote sustainability. The aims and objectives of PPS9 are intended to be delivered via Local Development Frameworks implemented by local planning bodies. PPS9 establishes a series of key principles that local planning authorities should adhere to ensure that the potential impacts of planning decisions on biodiversity and geological conservation are fully considered. This is accompanied by Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) Circular 06/2005 which provides administrative guidance on the application of the law relating to planning and nature conservation. The guidance advises that a strategic approach to the conservation, enhancement and restoration of biodiversity and geology should be taken, recognising the contribution that sites, areas and features (both individually and in combination) make to conserve these resources. The UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) provides a detailed plan for the protection of biological resources and involves the implementation of Species Action Plans, Habitat Action Plans and Local BAPs. PPS9 advises that a key aim of planning decisions should be to prevent harm to biodiversity and geological conservation interests. Adequate mitigation measures should be put in place where necessary. Where a planning decision would result in significant harm to biodiversity and geological interests which cannot be prevented or adequately mitigated, then appropriate compensation measures should be sought. With regard to SSSI designation the guidance states that where a proposed development on land within or outside a SSSI is likely to have an adverse effect, planning permission should not normally be granted. Where an adverse effect on the sites notified special interest features is likely, PPS9 advises that an exception should:
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only be made where the benefits of the development clearly outweigh both the impacts that it is likely to have on the features of the site that make it of special scientific interest and any broader impacts on the national network of SSSIs. 10.2.29 Networks of natural habitats are considered within PPS9 to represent a valuable resource. To reflect their importance, emphasis is placed upon Local Planning Authorities to maintain networks by avoiding or repairing the fragmentation and isolation of natural habitats through policies in plans. UK Biodiversity Action Plan (Ref 10.20) 10.2.30 The UK BAP is the UK response to the Convention on Biological Diversity 1992. The UK BAP describes the UKs biological resources and commits to a detailed plan for the protection of these resources. Within the plan a list of priority species and habitats is developed, for which specific action should be taken to conserve these species and habitats. The implementation of the BAP is the responsibility of various statutory and non-statutory organisations. This is a requirement of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. Eel Management Plans 10.2.31 Eel Management Plans have been implemented for the Severn Catchment and the River Parrett (Refs 10.11 and 10.12). e) Regional Policy 10.2.32 On 6 July 2010 the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government revoked all Regional Strategies with immediate effect under section 79(6) of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009. This includes the Regional Planning Guidance for the South West (RPG10). Therefore, Regional Strategies no longer form part of the development plan for the purposes of section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. However, EDF Energy will continue to have regard to development plan documents, saved policies and any old style plans that have not lapsed, as well as national policy where relevant. Somerset and Exmoor Joint Structure Plan 1996 2016 (Ref 10.21) 10.2.34 The Joint Structure Plan (JSP) provides the strategic base for all land use planning in the combined area covered by Somerset and the Exmoor National Park for the period up to 2016. The JSP policies relevant to marine ecology in the vicinity of the proposed development include Policy 1: Nature Conservation and Policy 15: Coastal Development. Policy 1 on Nature Conservation states that the biodiversity of Somerset (and the Exmoor National Park) would be protected, conserved, restored, enhanced, and managed in accordance with the UK and relevant regional and local BAPs. Spatial target habitats are provided for coastal sand dune, coastal vegetated shingle, and Sabellaria alveolata reef. Maintenance target areas are set for coastal sand dune and coastal vegetated sand dune, however, the full extent of S. alveolata reef is not known. A target has been set to mitigate the natural loss of coastal sand dune, although establishment and restoration targets are ongoing for coastal vegetated shingle and S. alveolata reef.
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Policy 15 on Coastal Development principally considers development on the coast and emphasises the importance of protecting and enhancing natural marine resources including those afforded international protection. f) Local Policy The West Somerset District Local Plan 2006 (Ref 10.22)

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The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 made a number of changes to the planning system at the local level and, as a consequence, the West Somerset Local Development Framework (LDF) (Ref 10.23) will replace the West Somerset District Local Plan. However, until that time, policies in the West Somerset District Local Plan have been saved for use in the planning process. The objective that is defined in the Local Plan relating to nature conservation is: to protect and where possible enhance the diversity of wildlife and habitats including important landscape features in West Somerset. The policies in the Local Plan relating to biodiversity are: NC/1 relating to effects on SSSIs; NC/2 relating to the protection of sites of international importance; NC/3 relating to sites of local nature conservation interest; NC/4 relating to species protection; and NC/5 relating to important wildlife habitats. Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) (West Somerset) (Ref 10.24)

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Under the West Somerset biodiversity action plan, coastal vegetated shingle and S. alveolata reefs are identified as priority habitats.

10.3

Methodology
a) Introduction

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The baseline environmental studies and surveys and the impact assessment for marine ecology have been conducted in accordance with all relevant best practices and standard methodologies. The identification of marine ecological impacts throughout the EIA process has been based on guidelines provided by the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM) (Ref 10.25). In this case the EIA methodology has been modified to ensure generic consistency with the other Chapters in this ES and follows best practice guidance. The main elements of the EIA methodology include: evaluation of marine ecological baseline information; characterisation of potential impacts; assessment of magnitude and significance of impacts; proposal of mitigation measures appropriate to impacts; and identification of residual impacts.

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The elements of the jetty development which may have implications for marine ecology were identified and assessed.

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Impacts were assessed after taking into consideration aspects of project design, good practices and protective measures which would be implemented as part of the development (e.g. compliance with discharge consents). b) Study Area

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The study area for the inter-tidal marine ecology surveys for the Hinkley Point C Project is outlined in Ref 10.26 (Volume 4, Section 10, Part B) (local scale studies stretching from the western boundary of the development site to 100m east of the existing Hinkley Point B water intake) and in Ref 10.27 (widescale studies from up to 8km north of the River Parrett Estuary to 15km west of Hinkley Point). The sub-tidal study area is set out in Ref 10.26 (Volume 4, Section 10, Part B) (local scale studies around proposed intake and outfall locations), BEEMS (2009b) (Ref 10.28) and BEEMS (2009c) (Ref 10.29) (widescale studies within a radius of approximately 15km from the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear Power Station). The main surveys of relevance to the impact assessment for this Chapter are the local scale inter-tidal surveys, as identified above. These data have been supplemented with specific surveys to record the presence of Corallina within the same study area, and sub-tidal Sabellaria studies within a short distance offshore along the Hinkley Point foreshore (see Figures 10-4 and 10-5, Volume 3). These studies identified and mapped the location and extent of receptors of conservation importance, such as Sabellaria and Corallina, which could be potentially impacted by the jetty development. The surveys also provided information regarding receptors which could be present further afield, such as diadromous fish and marine mammals; however, the main area of concern is the Hinkley Point foreshore and the nearshore sub-tidal zone. c) Baseline Environment Assessment Marine Receptors

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Marine ecological receptors were identified through: a review of historical and recent data gathered specifically for the development; desk-based assessment and modelling; and consultation with Natural England, CCW and the Environment Agency, as detailed in Section 10.1.

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The baseline environmental assessment for marine ecology included the following receptors: microscopic plants, animals and fish larvae (phytoplankton, zooplankton, and ichthyoplankton); plants and animals on and in the sediment in offshore locations (sub-tidal benthic flora, epifauna and infauna); fish that live on or near to the sea bed and within the water column (benthic, demersal and pelagic fish); and inter-tidal fish, invertebrates and algae on the foreshore in front of and to the west of Hinkley Point B.

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A comprehensive review of the survey and sampling programmes undertaken for the assessment is provided in the APEM Final Baseline Report (Ref 10.26) (Volume 4, Section 10, Part B).

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A two-year sampling programme was implemented to collect marine environmental information for Hinkley Point and Bridgwater Bay. Field data were obtained from a number of surveys and sources to collate a representative baseline marine ecology data set for the area of potential impact around Hinkley Point. The sampling commenced in February 2008 and included: animals in the sediment in offshore locations (sub-tidal benthic infauna); animals on the sediment in offshore locations (sub-tidal benthic epifauna); fish that live on or near the sea bed (benthic/demersal); fish larvae and eggs; inter-tidal surveys from approximately 8km north of the River Parrett to approximately 15km west of Hinkley Point; and inter-tidal fish and epifauna.

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These investigations were combined with mapping of the sea bed substrate and physical studies (e.g. investigations of current speed, sediment load etc.). The results were used to characterise the area and produce biotope maps for the area of potential impact. d) Impact Assessment Methodology

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The generic approach adopted for this impact assessment is presented in Chapter 5. The specific methodology adopted for assessing the potential and actual environmental impacts to marine ecology are outlined below. Impact Magnitude

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In addition to the generic guidance in Chapter 5, the following guidelines for the assessment of magnitude in relation to impacts on marine ecology have been adopted (Table 10.1). Table 10.1 Guidelines for the Assessment of Magnitude
Magnitude High Guideline The change permanently affects the ecological function of the habitat/species by reducing the ability to sustain the habitat or population levels of species of interest across its whole area. The integrity of the habitats/species and the conservation status of any of the designations are compromised. Habitats and species are degraded to the extent that locally rare populations and habitats are lost and protected species and habitats experience widespread change. Impacts not limited to areas within and adjacent to the development. Medium Habitats/species are degraded to the extent that they experience a reduction in extent or number of individuals. The change substantially affects the ecological structure and function of the habitat/species on a local scale but is not likely to have an effect at a regional scale. Although it is not likely to permanently affect the integrity of the receptor it may change the evaluation of the habitat/species in terms of conservation status. Impacts limited to the areas within and adjacent to the development.

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Magnitude Low

Guideline The quality and availability of habitats and species experience some limited degradation. Disturbance to population size and occupied area is within the range of natural variability and there is not expected to be any permanent effect on the integrity and/or key attributes of the receptor. The change is unlikely to change the evaluation of the habitat/species in terms of conservation status. Impacts limited to the area within the development.

Very Low

Although there may be some impacts on individuals it is considered that the quality and availability of habitats and species would experience little or no degradation. Any disturbance would be in the range of natural variability and there would be no short-term or long-term effects on the integrity or key attributes of the receptor. Activities predicted to occur occasionally and for a short period. Impacts likely to be reversible and not likely to coincide with sensitive life stages. Impacts limited to the area within the development.

Receptor Value 10.3.16 In addition to the generic guidance in Chapter 5, an additional guideline definition of value specific to marine ecology has also been proposed (Table 10.2). The overall value rating is a combination of the generic and specific guidance. Table 10.2 Guidelines for the Assessment of Value
Definition High Value Feature / receptor possess key characteristics which contribute considerably to the distinctiveness, rarity and character of the site / receptor, e.g. designated features of International/National designation / importance (SAC, SPA, Ramsar, SSSI, UK BAP etc.). Feature / receptor possess important biodiversity, social/community value and / or economic value. Feature / receptor is rarely sighted. Medium Feature / receptor possess key characteristics which contribute considerably to the distinctiveness, rarity and character of the site / receptor, e.g. designated features of Regional / County designation / importance (Regional BAP, SSSI, Local Nature Reserves). Feature / receptor possess moderate biodiversity, social / community value and / or economic value. Feature / receptor is occasionally sighted.

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Definition Low

Value Feature / receptor only possess characteristics which are of District or Local importance. Feature / receptor not designated or only designated at the district or local level, e.g. Local Nature Reserve. Feature / receptor possess some biodiversity, social/community value and / or economic value. Feature / receptor is relatively common.

Very Low

Feature / receptor characteristics do not make a contribution to the character or distinctiveness locally. Feature / receptor not designated. Feature / receptor possess low biodiversity, social / community value and / or economic value. Feature / receptor is abundant.

e) Uncertainties, Limitations and Assumptions 10.3.17 The assessment herein is based on available ecological information which has been largely derived from baseline surveys conducted for the Hinkley Point C Project. Methods used for the surveys adopted best practice including those outlined in the Marine Monitoring Handbook (Davies et al. 2001; Ref 10.30) which incorporates the recommendations of the Handbook for Marine Inter-tidal Phase 1 Survey and Mapping (Wyn et al. 2000; Ref 10.31). Aspects of the UK National Marine Monitoring Programme Green Book (NMMP 2003; Ref 10.32) were also taken into account. These documents provide detailed standard methodologies for inter-tidal and sub-tidal sampling. It should be noted that the surveys constitute a sample of a large and complex estuarine system which, although undertaken throughout the year to allow for seasonal variations (frequency depending upon survey subject), does not equate to continuous monitoring. Variability in habitats and species may not therefore be fully recorded. However, it is considered that the surveys were sufficiently well scoped and frequent to adequately characterise the habitats and species main species and habitats present for this impact assessment.

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10.4

Baseline Environmental Characteristics


a) Introduction

10.4.1

This section presents the baseline environmental characteristics for the areas designated for jetty development and surrounding area with specific reference to marine ecology. The location of the area proposed for the jetty development is shown on Figure 10-1, Volume 3. The Severn Estuary has one of the largest tidal ranges in the world, reaching in excess of 13m at Avonmouth, a regime classified as hypertidal. The extreme tidal and turbidity regimes of the Severn Estuary make it unique amongst British estuaries, with the physical environment strongly influencing the distribution and productivity of the biological assemblages present. A consideration of these physical key features is provided in Chapter 9 and summarised in Table 10.3 below.
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Table 10.3 Key Physical Features of the Severn Estuary


Key Features: Physical Large funnel shaped estuary facing the Atlantic Large branching estuary Comment Influences fish species (particularly migratory) and other physical features, particularly tidal regime. Sub-estuaries absorb energy at tidal frequencies, but input energy at longer frequencies because of river flow variation. The Parrett, Usk and others are not insignificant regarding freshwater influx into the system. Seasonal and tidal variation Parrett significantly adds to this in the Hinkley Point area. Rare at global scale others include the Bay of Fundy (Canada), the Seine and the Somme (France). Spring to Neap changes are major in magnitude, resulting in a system with a major component of fortnightly change (as well as other tidal periods). Long periods of low winds reduce the suspended solids concentrations, at least in surface waters. The sedimentary system is therefore periodic, which directly effects the light regime (hence production), the benthic habitats and thus the benthos. In shallow areas, waves are dominant over the effects of tidal currents. Most important in the Hinkley Point area are the inter-tidal and shallow flats where it is waves that are mostly responsible in terms of mobilising and/or changing the physical environment and thus affecting the biota. Large portions of the Bristol Channel and lower Severn Estuary are characterised by exposed rock (see the figure provided in Appendix 9-9, Volume 4). Changes to the sediment transport system have the potential to induce major changes in habitat. Changes in sediment distribution (natural and manmade) are likely and these would affect habitats by definition. High concentrations of sediment are present within the water column (in both permanent and temporary suspension and is intermittently deposited) but there is relatively little contribution from rivers or from the outer Bristol Channel. The mouth of the Parrett has a variety of inter-tidal and sub-tidal banks, which consist of layered sediments and are extremely mobile. They thus tend to have low density biota. Freshwater run-off peaks are significant in that they affect the extent of the existing Hinkley Point B power station thermal plume across Bridgwater Bay. Erosion/deposition cycles occur naturally and periodically, especially in the outer Bridgwater Bay.

High salinity variation Hypertidal Periodic energy inputs

Waves dominant in shallow water

Areas of exposed rock Physics makes change in sub-tidal habitats the norm not the exception Highly turbid unique in UK

Entrance to Parrett mobile banks Existing Parrett plume impact on inter-tidal area Periodic major changes in bed elevation

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Environmental Statement November 2010

Key Features: Physical Residual circulation

Comment Tidal averaging of flows shows strong outward residual flow from Flat Holm to the south side of channel off Kilve. Recirculation cells occur to north and south. This could trap persistent contaminants or effluent, and provides routes for fish migration. Crudely summarised as: fish in north, out south. This feature persists to Holm Island. Given the small magnitude of any residual circulation compared to the regular tidal flows the significance of this feature is uncertain. Due to a combination of the distribution of tidally driven bed shear forces and the extreme levels of turbidity present in the water column, there is an apparent discontinuity in ecological production with little sub-tidally and that, over the soft inter-tidal areas, driven largely by microphytobenthos. The balance of primary production is thus skewed towards the inter-tidal zone. The Bridgwater Bay ecosystem is relatively simple with few species dominant. Mysids, crabs and brown shrimp (Crangon) are important links in the food chain. Important for a number of species of conservation interest (shad, salmonids, eel, lampreys). Extremely poor compared to other estuaries, because of periodic highly mobile sea bed. Stable highly productive mud flats. The mudflats are of two general types: (1) eroding Holocene muds and clays, which are relatively resistant to erosion and able to form a habitat for infauna, and (2) periodically layered mobile sands and muds.

Benthic production dominated by intertidal compared to sub-tidal

Contains subsystems which are relatively simple Migratory fish corridor Impoverished subtidal benthos Highly productive inter-tidal soft shore benthos

10.4.4

The Severn Estuary is recognised as an important conservation area and supports a number of international, national and local designations for wetland habitats, bird populations and the presence of other habitats and species of conservation interest. Hinkley Point is fronted by a rocky foreshore with large areas of inter-tidal mudflats to the east, and saltmarsh areas bordering the River Parrett. These inter-tidal areas are of importance due to their role in supporting large numbers of over-wintering wildfowl. The assemblages of organisms found in both inter-tidal and sub-tidal habitats are characteristic of other UK estuaries in terms of the number and types of species present, but are generally impoverished in terms of abundance. This is the direct result of high tidal shear forces resulting in chronic sediment surface instability and extremely high turbidity levels. The inter-tidal zone in front of, and on either side of, Hinkley Point B is dominated by a shelving rocky shore with low abundances of organisms and low macroalgae biomass, although patchy areas of high macroalgal cover are present. Sub-tidal habitats in the vicinity of Hinkley Point consist of extensive areas of muddy sediments. The main habitats of ecological importance on the foreshore are turfs of the red alga Corallina sp. and those formed by tubes of the honeycomb worm Sabellaria sp.; aggregations of these particular species can provide habitat for many other organisms and thus increase local biodiversity. In its reef form, Sabellaria is listed as an Annex I species, protected under the Habitats Directive. Although sub-tidal habitats exist within the study area that are likely to be suitable for Sabellaria reef, no such formations have been identified.

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Sub-tidal habitats are dominated by just a few species including bivalve molluscs, polychaete worms and crustaceans. The dominant sub-tidal epifaunal species observed is the brown shrimp Crangon crangon, and this species also has high abundance relative to others within the inter-tidal zone. This species provides an important food source for a number of fish species (e.g. cod, flatfishes, sea bass) and birds. The high turbidity of the water column limits the primary production of phytoplankton within the Severn Estuary. As such, densities of phytoplankton and zooplankton, and the number of different species which can tolerate these conditions, have been found to be relatively low when compared with other coastal waters. The sub-tidal benthic flora is relatively homogenous in the vicinity of Hinkley Point and is dominated by inter-tidal microalgae (microphytobenthos) which had been washed into sub-tidal areas. Remote sensing studies provided evidence for the potential presence of Sabellaria reef in some sub-tidal areas with some sections confirmed by means of ground-truthing. Seven diadromous fish species are known to migrate through the Severn Estuary; Atlantic salmon, twaite shad, allis shad, river lamprey, sea lamprey, sea trout and eel, all of which are afforded protection under European Directives and/or national legislation. These species were either absent or recorded in low numbers at the Hinkley Point B intake location and were not recorded during the local or widescale trawl surveys. Some of the commercial fish species were caught in relatively large numbers; and the most abundant species recorded at the cooling water intake screens at Hinkley Point B to date have been sprat, whiting, sand goby, poor cod, Dover sole, pout, common sea snail, bass, flounder and dab. The following ten UK BAP marine species (commercial fish BAP) are found within the estuary: cod, herring, plaice, sole, whiting, blue whiting, hake, horse mackerel, ling and saithe (coalfish). Fish populations were found to be dominated by marine migrant species which spend most of their time at sea and a number of months within the estuary. In addition, the majority of fish caught during surveys were juveniles supporting the view that Bridgwater Bay is an importance nursery area for juvenile fish. Few fish larvae or eggs were collected within the water column during ichthyoplankton surveys although inter-tidal fish surveys found a number of fish species utilised inter-tidal areas including species of potential commercial importance such as sea bass. There is, however, little commercial fishing activity within the Severn Estuary. There are no resident populations of marine mammals within the estuary although a number of species are thought to use the estuary as a feeding area during different times of the year. The harbour porpoise is the most commonly recorded marine mammal species in the Bristol Channel. b) Statutory Designations Severn Estuary SAC

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The proposed development is situated at Hinkley Point adjacent to Bridgwater Bay within the Bristol Channel (see Figure 1-2, Volume 3). The Severn Estuary is a SAC (designated under the EC Habitats Directive (Ref 10.7)). The SAC has a western extent which is slightly east of Hinkley Point (Figure 11-2, Volume 3). Its designation is due to the presence of the following habitats and species: Annex I Habitats (primary features)

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10.4.14

Atlantic saltmeadows - Glauco-Puccinellietalia maritimae; estuaries; and mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide.

Annex I Habitats (present) sandbanks which are slightly covered by seawater all the time; and Sabellaria reefs.

10.4.15

Annex II Species (primary features) twaite shad - Alosa fallax; river lamprey - Lampetra fluviatilis; and sea lamprey - Petromyzon marinus.

Severn Estuary SPA 10.4.16 The Severn Estuary occupies 24,663ha and was designated as a SPA in 1995. It comprises a range of different habitat types including: extensive inter-tidal mudflat and sandflat, sub-tidal sandflat, saltmarsh, rocky platforms and islands. The estuary qualifies as a SPA, under Article 4.1 of the Birds Directive, because it is classified as a wetland of international importance regularly supporting at least 20,000 waterfowl. In addition, it supports internationally important Annex I populations of overwintering Bewicks swan (C. columbianus bewickii), curlew (N. arquata), dunlin (C. alpina alpina), pintail (A. acuta), redshank (T. totanus) and shelduck (T. tadorna), and passage species including ringed plover (C. hiaticula). c) Marine Ecological Receptors 10.4.18 This section outlines baseline conditions based, in large, on Refs 10.26, 10.29, 10.30 10.33 and 10.34. In addition, the description draws on the findings of the long term Severn Estuary Data Set (SEDS) data (Ref 10.35), which is the culmination of routine sampling of fish and invertebrate catches over many years at Hinkley Point B. Phytoplankton 10.4.19 Due to the very high suspended sediment concentrations, the photic depth in the estuary is confined to the immediate surface waters, which greatly limits the primary production of phytoplankton (Cloern, 1987 (Ref 10.36), Joint & Pomroy, 1981 (Ref 10.37), Joint, 1984 (Ref 10.38), STPG, 1989 (Ref 10.39)). Although some phytoplankton are present in the highly turbid sections of the Bristol Channel, primary production rates are far greater in the less turbid areas. Inter-tidal sediments in the Severn Estuary are known to support microphytobenthic populations, which are frequently dominated by diatoms (Underwood, 1994; Ref 10.40). The re-suspension of these algae (and the substrates they inhabit) has been demonstrated in the Eems estuary, a large, physically dynamic estuary similar to the Severn (e.g. De Jonge & van Beusekom, 1995 (Ref 10.41)). This suggests that it is largely re-suspended microphytobenthos that contributes to the phytoplankton recorded in the Severn Estuary. There is limited published information available regarding phytoplankton populations in the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary. Rees (1939; Ref 10.42) and Underwood (1994; Ref 10.40) provide some data on phytoplankton species recorded in the inner Bristol
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Channel. Of the diatom species indicated in these records some species are primarily benthic (e.g. Actinoptychus spp., Bacillaria paxillifer, Gyrosigma spp., Melosira arctica and all the Nitzschia species), while planktonic species include Asterionella spp., Chaetoceros spp, Ditylum brightwellii, Odontella spp. and Helicotheca tamesis. This suggests that at least some of phytoplankton component has a microphytobenthic origin. 10.4.21 In total 21 species were recorded off Hinkley Point from the phytoplankton surveys carried out between November 2008 and October 2009. The most frequently recorded species between November 2008 and July 2009 was the diatom Odontella regia which was present at all, or nearly all, of the sites on each occasion. This species also had the greatest density with the highest values recorded in July 2009 (reaching up to 1006 individuals per m3). However, this species was not recorded in the August and October 2009 samples, with Paralina sulcata being present at all sites in August and Odontella sinensis present at nearly all sites during October. The densities of phytoplankton varied among sampling periods with the highest phytoplankton densities recorded in July 2009, at a mean density of 278 individuals per m3 (which was mainly due to high numbers of O. regia). However, when compared with other British coastal waters, phytoplankton densities were relatively low, which is likely due in part to the high turbidity of the Bristol Channel (water transparency of 10cm) (Ref 10.39). The most frequently recorded species, Odontella regia, is regarded as a planktonic form. This species was found to occur in a low light group of algae at Helgoland in the North Sea (Ref 10.40) suggesting it may be capable of growth within the extreme conditions of the Severn Estuary. In contrast, G. delicatula and S. unipunctata are more typical of coastal waters, suggesting they may have been transported into the estuary. Zooplankton 10.4.23 The limitation of primary production due to elevated turbidity levels within the Severn Estuary has the potential to reduce production of any zooplankton which feed on these microscopic plants (Ref 10.36, Ref 10.37 and Ref 10.38). Estuarine zooplankton, however, are primarily detritivores and it is considered that the main factor limiting zooplankton growth within this system is the need to process high levels of solids for relatively little gain. Surveys of zooplankton were carried out by the Institute for Marine Environmental Research (IMER) between 1971 and 1981 (Williams 1984; Ref 10.43). Williams reviewed these data to describe the species assemblages, biomass and seasonal cycles of zooplankton in the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary. The assemblages found were typical of estuaries in northern latitudes, both in terms of their abundance and species composition. However, species diversity of the zooplankton in the Bristol Channel, and in the Severn Estuary in particular, has been found to be relatively low when compared to other coastal shelf areas around the UK (Collins & Williams 1981; Ref 10.44). The permanent planktonic animals (holoplankton) in the Bristol Channel are predominantly copepods, as is the case for many other estuaries in the UK (Ref 10.43). The temporary plankton (meroplankton) are represented by phyla such as decapods, molluscs, echinoderms, annelids and fish (Ref 10.43). The dominant species are the calanoid copepods which have been recorded in maximum densities in July following increases in abundance in March, April and May (Refs 10.41 and 10.42). Mysids (particularly Schistomysis spiritus) also constitute a large part of the total zooplankton biomass in summer (approximately 80%) (Refs 10.45 and 10.43).

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Environmental Statement November 2010

10.4.26

Salinity is an important environmental variable affecting zooplankton distribution, along with temperature variation. The powerful tidal movements also have a considerable influence (Refs 10.44 and 10.42). When considering the biomass of zooplankton in the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary, Rees (1939; Ref 10.42) identified a gradient from high biomass at the seaward extent to low values further upstream. This gradient was more pronounced in spring for the omnivores and in summer for the carnivores (reflecting the pattern of food availability). Peaks in omnivorous zooplankton biomass occurred throughout the year. The carnivores, e.g. Sagitta spp. tended to be more abundant in the latter half of the year when biomass was similar to that recorded for the omnivores. Entrainment sampling for zooplankton from the Hinkley Point B station has recorded a total of 43 taxa between April 2007 and June 2009. Few species were recorded in samples from the intake screens at Hinkley Point B during January and February 2009 which is likely to be due to reduced salinities within this area during the winter months (Bamber & Henderson, 1994; Ref 10.45). The most abundant group over this sampling period was the mysids which show a strong seasonal pattern in abundance. In addition a notable feature of the long-term data collected at Hinkley Point has been the dramatic increase in mysid abundance over the last 30 years. Peak mysid abundance is now almost six times the level observed in the 1980s and 1990s (peak of ~3000 individuals in 2008 samples in comparison with maximum of 500 individuals per sample in the 1980s and 1990s). Since the commencement of sampling, the mysid assemblage has been dominated by three species, Schistomysis spiritus, Mesopodopsis slabberi and to a lesser extent Gastrosaccus spinifer. Ichthyoplankton

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Zooplankton surveys conducted as part of the BEEMS programme were dedicated towards gaining an understanding of ichthyoplankton (fish larvae and egg) abundance and distribution. Overall, fish eggs from nine taxa were recorded: anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus), rocklings (Lotidae), gurnard (Triglidae), European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), Dover sole (Solea solea), solonette (Buglossidium luteum), mackerel (Scomber scombrus) pilchard (Sardina pilchardus) scaldfish (Arnoglossus laterna) and some unidentified eggs were also collected in June 2008 and May 2009. Larvae of herring (Clupeidae), sprat (Sprattus sprattus), sandeel (Ammodytidae), dragonet (Callionymidae), gobies (Gobiidae), Dover sole, European seabass and solenette were also recorded (Ref 10.46). The majority of ichthyoplankton were caught during the May 2009 surveys. The most frequently recorded component of the ichthyoplankton was anchovy eggs which were collected at over 30% of the sampling stations, with a maximum abundance of 6.51 eggs per m2 (where abundance is standardised to the number of units under 1m2 of sea surface). Historically, anchovy have been rarely reported in the area and its presence here (in particular, the presence of eggs, indicating local spawning) might indicate an increased northward distribution of the species from southern waters. The second most abundant ichthyoplankton group was goby larvae (eggs were collected at 35% of the stations, with a maximum abundance of 2.46 eggs per m2) (Ref 10.46). High densities of seabass larvae were recorded during the May 2009 surveys whereas previously these had not been recorded. With the possible exception of anchovy, the ichthyoplankton species identified during these surveys are not uncommon in coastal or inshore waters and did not have distributions which could be construed as unusual.

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Environmental Statement November 2010

Sub-tidal Benthic Fauna 10.4.30 The benthic faunal assemblage of the Severn Estuary is generally regarded as being an impoverished and predominantly opportunistic assemblage of species due to the mobile muddy sediments, high tidal shears and the highly turbid conditions of the estuary (Mettam et al. 1994 (Ref 10.47) and Langston et al. 2007 (Ref 10.48)). For example, a survey of the fauna of the deep water channel and marginal areas of the Severn Estuary between Flatholm Island and King Pool, upstream of Hinkley Point reported that the fauna of the Severn Estuary Sabellaria reefs is impoverished compared to similar habitats in the Bristol Channel and elsewhere in the British Isles (Warwick et al. 2001; Ref 10.49). Furthermore, Warwick & Davies (1977; Ref 10.50) collected samples of the bottom fauna at 155 stations in the Bristol Channel from Lundy Island to just above Holme Islands, and described the area around Hinkley Point as having a reduced hard bottom community due to strong tidal scour. As a result of the high tidal shears in the estuary a component of the infauna sampled in the surveys detailed below may include hyperbenthic species (i.e. species which live above, but close to the substratum) which would not normally be considered as a component of the infauna. Tidal shear may draw these species into the sediment temporarily. Discussion of those species caught during each survey which could be classed as hyperbenthic is provided in the relevant sections below. Across the five survey periods a total of 56 distinct macrofauna taxa and 6 meiofauna phyla were recorded. Of these the cumaceans Diastylis bradyi and D. rathkei, mysid species and the amphipod Photis longicaudata could be classed as hyperbenthic species. The highest numbers of taxa were recorded in February, June and August of 2008 (26, 30 and 26 taxa respectively (Ref 10.29)). During each of the surveys, several stations had no macrofauna in any of the Day Grab samples and overall species richness and macrofauna abundance was considered to be low. Molluscs contributed the most to the macrofaunal biomass during each quarterly survey period (typically contributing to >90% of the total biomass), although biomass varied considerably across surveys. Distribution of biomass across the survey sites was uneven, however, the dominance of molluscs (e.g. the bivalves Macoma balthica and Nucula nucleus) suggests that these taxa have an important role in the ecosystem as a food source for fish. Across all surveys, four species were consistently the most frequently sampled (i.e. found at the most sites) and were also sampled at the greatest densities (i.e. mean abundance per 0.1m2) within the macrofaunal samples. These species were N. nucleus (bivalve), (mean of 3.2 individuals per m2); M. balthica (bivalve), (mean of 2.2 individuals per m2); Nephtys hombergii (polychaete), (mean of 0.7 individuals per m2); and Diastylis rathkei (crustacean), (mean of 0.6 individuals per m2) (Ref 10.29). In general, both macrofaunal species number and densities were found to be highest in nearshore locations and were lower at the sampling sites further offshore. The macrofaunal grab sample data showed no clear link between substratum type and the assemblage present. Few colonial species were collected from the area. The number of meiofauna phyla found at most stations was relatively low. Nematoda was the dominant phylum across surveys and sites accounting for 94% of the meiofauna present. There was some evidence that nematode densities were highest in November 2008 (77 130 individuals per 10cm2 SD.), and lowest in June (38 65 individuals per 10cm2 SD) (Ref 10.29) although the trend was weak. The composition of meiofaunal
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assemblages with a dominance of nematodes was comparable with those encountered in similar benthic environments worldwide (Coull, 1985 (Ref 10.51) and Probert, 1984 (Ref 10.52)). Meiofauna and nematode abundance was greatest at sites with mixed sediments (e.g. sandy mud) as opposed to homogenous substrates of sand and mud, a pattern which appeared unrelated to sediment depth. 10.4.37 A combination of widescale remote sensing studies and the results of the grab surveys were used to generate a map of biotopes for the region (Figure 10-1, Volume 3 and Table 4.2, for further details see Ref 10.26 (Volume 4, Section 10, Part B)). Biotopes form basic mapping units and are defined according to a combination of both the biological assemblages present and consideration of the physical characteristics of the habitat. Biotopes were defined using the marine biotope classification of Connor et al. (2004) (Ref 10.53). It should be noted that hyperbenthos and infauna within fluid muds may be tidally redistributed over spring/neap cycles. Therefore, biotope descriptions based on the assemblages of organisms present could vary considerably over relatively short temporal scales and higher level descriptions based predominantly on sediment type would be expected to remain more consistent across temporal scales. In other words, habitat maps are generally a more reliable guide to the likely assemblage involved at any given sub-tidal locality. Sabellaria 10.4.38 There are two species of Sabellaria in the UK, S. alveolata and S. spinulosa. The two species have similar biology and ecology. Although individuals are not protected, they tend to form large biogenic reefs by cementing together tubes constructed from sand. It is the reefs themselves that are protected owing to the important ecological function they perform. They often stabilise the sedimentary environment; provide hard substratum for other sessile organisms to attach; can provide diverse habitat types (e.g. crevices); and can alter local hydrodynamics, leading to accumulations of food particles for other organisms (Holt et al. 1998; Ref 10.54). Their reefs are therefore protected under the EC Habitats Directive (under which they are classed as Annex I biogenic habitats under the 'Reefs' feature). The reefs are also referenced in the UK BAP which aims to: 10.4.39 maintain the extent of S. alveolata reef habitats; maintain the quality of S. alveolata reef habitats; and within 15 years, attempt to re-establish S. alveolata reefs in five areas where they were formerly present.

A review of MarLIN habitat preferences and the sea bed surface map Figure 10-2, Volume 3 suggest that areas dominated by mud and sand are unlikely to support the development of Sabellaria reefs in Bridgwater Bay. The recent extensive surveys have not revealed any Sabellaria alveolata reef structures within these sandy and muddy areas and their presence in these areas of substrate is unlikely. Coarser sea bed habitats are most likely to support the development of Sabellaria reefs. Sabellaria presence has been recorded from some of the survey sites where such substrates are present, but not in a form that would constitute reef habitat. Sabellaria is, however, present in a form that would constitute reef on the lower shore directly in front of Hinkley Point A. The distributions of the reef forms on the Hinkley Point foreshore are directly coincident with the midfield dispersion pattern of the Hinkley Point B power station thermal plume. Surveys carried out locally on the foreshore at Hinkley Point report that the reefs growing within the flow of the cooling water discharge from the power station are substantially larger, commonly greater than 15cm in height
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and over 1m across, than those recorded elsewhere in the area. In addition, the greater size and complexity of the reefs in the outfall area have been found to support a denser and more diverse range of associated fauna (Bamber 1995; Ref 10.55). In 1990 a detailed survey programme was initiated to investigate these differential growth rates. 10.4.42 The results of studies undertaken between September 1991 and March 1993 indicated that individual worms were neither larger nor more abundant at the outfall; they were not of a different species and displayed no differential recruitment. These factors could therefore not account for the difference in reef size. Tube building has been found to be greatest at 15 to 20C, lower at 10C and absent at 5C. Therefore the authors suggested that the differential growth rates could be attributed to maintenance of a higher metabolism and tube-building activity at the outfall site as a result of constant temperatures during the winter months. In addition, any frost-effects are limited at the outfall. In effect, there exists a functional relationship between the warmed plume and the distribution of the Sabellaria reefs, with the most likely explanation being that the plume, or the overlying warmed air at low tide, has protected these reefs from extremes of air temperature in the past (Ref 10.55). Therefore, it is likely that upon cessation of Hinkley Point B cooling water effluent discharges this particular reef could be lost, if not immediately then possibly following a low temperature event. Such cyclic patterns of growth and retreat of Sabellaria, even within undisturbed habitats, are expected within the estuarine habitat. Surveys of Sabellaria reef fronting the Hinkley Point site (for the distribution of Sabellaria, see Figure 10-4, Volume 3) show that coverage on the lower shore fronting the Hinkley Point A power station is relatively extensive covering lower shore bedrock. The reef in this area was generally low lying with high percentage coverage throughout its distribution, large areas were covered with a thin layer of sediment and some of the areas of the reef higher up the shore were overgrown with ephemeral algae. Overall, based on the classifications summarised in Connor et al. 2004 (Ref 10.53) it was considered that the reef in this area was generally of reduced quality, with some areas of moderate quality in which colonies were 10cm in height. Recent characterisation surveys of Sabellaria aggregations off Hinkley Point (BEEMS 2010a; Ref 10.56) indicate that Sabellaria alveolata is more widespread and abundant than S. spinulosa in this area. Sub-tidal Epifauna 10.4.45 Impingement and entrainment studies carried out at Hinkley Point B have provided information on the epifauna captured each month at the cooling water intake for over two decades. Of the epifauna caught, the common brown shrimp Crangon crangon was the most commonly caught species and had the greatest abundances (Henderson et al. 2007; Ref 10.57). The abundance of this species varied temporally with spawning occurring in spring and high numbers of juveniles causing abundances to peak in the autumn (Ref 10.45 and Henderson et al. 2006 (Ref 10.58)). Winter increases in abundance of C. crangon were also evident at Hinkley Point as some individuals move seawards to avoid low winter salinities and females move inshore to brood (Ref 10.45). The population size of C. crangon has been found to be positively correlated with average water temperature from January to August, and negatively correlated with the Winter North Atlantic Oscillation Index (Ref 10.58). In general, the population of this species has remained relatively stable since the 1980s, although there was a year of exceptional recruitment in 2002 (Ref 10.58).

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The preferred habitat for C. crangon is sandy and muddy ground with a grain size range of 125 to 710m (MarLIN 2009; Ref 10.59). It is considered to be highly intolerant of substratum loss, due to a decreased ability to forage and increased predation from gadoids (e.g. cod). However, this species exhibits rapid growth, early maturation and high fecundity, which would allow rapid population recovery (Ref 10.59). C. crangon was also found to be one of the most abundant epifaunal species during both the widescale and local scale studies. The second most abundant species caught at the intake screens was the pelagic ghost shrimp Pasiphaea sivado (Ref 10.57). Whilst this species is considered pelagic as opposed to strictly epifaunal it undergoes diurnal vertical migrations, moving throughout the water column during the day and resting on the bottom at night. Other common species caught at the intake screens included the demersal common prawn Palaemon serratus, and pink shrimp Pandalus montagui, which have both shown a clear gradual trend of increasing abundance in the estuary (Ref 10.57). Data from 2006 to 2007 and previous decades, suggests that the abundance of shrimp and prawns near Hinkley Point has increased since the 1980s. Due to a warm summer in 2006, the abundance of species favouring warmer conditions was particularly high in 2007 with a record number of these organisms being captured since the commencement of sampling (Ref 10.57). Abundance of each of these species is known to vary seasonally in relation to migrations and the timing of reproduction and the subsequent occurrence of juveniles (Ref 10.45). Inter-tidal Flora and Fauna

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Hinkley Point is fronted by an area of inter-tidal rocky ledges and is flanked by further inter-tidal rock, with occasional pockets of sediment to the west. To the east lie the inter-tidal mudflats of Bridgwater Bay and the saltmarsh areas lining the River Parrett Estuary. In turbid estuarine environments with a restricted light regime, it is considered that phytoplankton grow poorly in the water column, and that the microflora and macroflora of inter-tidal areas and saltmarshes provide the greatest contribution to primary production within the system (Radford 1994 (Ref 10.60)). In addition, sub-tidal assemblages in the Severn Estuary and inner Bristol Channel generally have low numbers of benthic fauna and low biodiversity (Warwick and Uncles 1980 (Ref 10.61), Warwick 1984 (Ref 10.62), Ref 10.26 and Ref 10.29). This is due to the severe tidal scouring, with frequent re-suspension of sediment, low primary production and variable salinity regime. Hence, it can be expected that ecological activity in the Severn Estuary is disproportionately concentrated in the inter-tidal zone and that any changes in the function of the inter-tidal system could have direct impacts on the important migratory bird (and inter-tidal fish) populations, as well as other ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling and sediment stabilisation. The Severn Estuary supports an impoverished algal flora especially in terms of red algae (Bamber & Irving 1992 (Ref 10.63), Ref 10.55, Seaby & Somes 2001 (Ref 10.64) and Langston et al. 2003 (Ref 10.65). There are, however, small locally important red algae communities such as the Corallina sp. run-offs in Bridgwater Bay (Ref 10.63, Bamber & Irving 1993b Ref 10.66)). Corallina turf habitats involving this species can be found at Hinkley Point where they have developed on the littoral rock platforms. The green algae Ulva lactuca can also be found associated with the Corallina turfs while Fucus serratus is often present around the mat edges (Refs. 10.64, 10.65 and BEEMS 2008 (Ref 10.67)).
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A number of surveys of the foreshore at Hinkley Point have been undertaken between 1982 and 2001 (Ref 10.67 and Martin 1993a (Ref 10.68)). Some of these studies have recorded the presence of the mussel Mytilus edulis. The results of these surveys indicate a stable community with low faunal and floral diversity. Bamber (1984; Ref 10.69) undertook core sampling of the littoral fine mud substrate to the east of Hinkley Point. The dominant macrofaunal species was the bivalve M. balthica and the polychaete worm Nepthys hombergii. Juvenile gastropods and small spionid polychaetes were also frequently found within samples. Underwood (1994; Ref 10.40) described the inter-tidal epipelic (sediment surface) floral assemblages in the Severn Estuary from samples collected between 1990 and 1991. Diatoms comprised over 95% of the living cells in most of these samples and occasionally the non-flagellated euglenoid Euglena deses was also abundant. Over 60 diatom taxa were identified with 15 to 20 of these recorded regularly throughout the survey period. Nitzschia epithymoides dominated samples from the upper and midshore sites in the early summer months and Navicula pargemina during the spring and autumn. Rhaphoneis minutissima was present in relatively high numbers throughout the year on lower shores, although in winter, this species was more abundant on upper and mid shores. Seasonal changes in diatom assemblages were more pronounced on the upper shores of the inter-tidal mudflats. In general these areas were dominated by single taxa (e.g. N. epithymoides or N. pargemina) and diversity was greatest on the lower shore. Smith (1978; Ref 10.70) surveyed eleven inter-tidal sites between Kilve (downstream of Hinkley Point) and Sharpness (in the upper estuary) on the English side of the estuary. All of these sites lacked macroalgae below the limit of Mean Low Water Springs (MLWS) which is thought to be due to the effects of high turbidity and sediment scour (Langston et al. 2003 (Ref 10.65)). Zonation of algae within the inter-tidal areas was characteristic of that normally observed on rocky shores with species such as Pelvetia canaliculata and Fucus spiralis inhabiting areas higher on the shore and Fucus serratus and Ascophyllum nodosum present from the mid to lower shore. Two communities of algae were found to be present at most of the sites surveyed. One of these was formed by the green algae Ulva intestinalis, Ulva prolifera, Blidingia minima, and Blidingia marginata and the fucoids Fucus vesiculosus and P. canaliculata which dominated between the limits of mean high water neap and spring tides. Between mean high and low water neap tides, however, a different community was formed by the dominant species A. nodosum, F. vesiculosus and F. serratus. On occasion, F. serratus was found to extend beyond the mean low water neap mark, however, it was never found below the mean low water spring mark (Ref 10.70). There are large fringes of saltmarsh in the estuary. Spartina spp. is particularly common and is abundant in Bridgwater Bay NNR (especially around the mouth of the River Parrett) in which Spartina anglica was planted in 1929 as a flood defence measure. In Bridgwater Bay, this species now covers an area 3km long and 0.3 to 0.45km wide with an area of approximately 120ha (Hubbard & Ranwell 2006 (Ref 10.71)). The total area of saltmarsh habitat in the Severn Estuary as a whole is reported as 1,521ha, the majority of which (75%) occurs on the English side (Ref 10.48). The saltmarshes are regarded as significant nature conservation features and contribute to the SPA, Ramsar and SAC designations. During recent inter-tidal surveys (see Figure 10-3, Volume 3) a total of 40 macrofaunal taxa were sampled across the 40 soft-sediment inter-tidal stations. There was a mean
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of 6.6 taxa per station and a trend of increasing species richness with increasing elevation was noticeable in places, such as Berrow Flats. Data suggest that the areas with the highest total macrofaunal densities were generally found along the higher-shore regions of Berrow Flats and near the mouth of the River Parrett Estuary. Similarly, areas with the greatest macrofaunal biomass were found to be along the upper shore region of Brean Down and Berrow Flats and at a number of stations towards the west of Stert Flats. Initial univariate analysis indicated that neither elevation nor median sediment grain size were useful predictors of macrofaunal biomass or numbers of individuals. Total biomass was disproportionately dominated by relatively few taxa (i.e. M. balthica 63%, Hediste diversicolor 15%, Hydrobia ulvae 8%). The most widely distributed taxa were Hydrobia ulvae and M. balthica (each observed at 36 stations) (Ref 10.72). 10.4.58 Comparison of these data with historical records suggests that current conditions may not be universally consistent with the biotope map previously produced (e.g. EMU 2006 (Ref 10.73)). This may indicate the local sedimentary and biological environment is heterogeneous on a smaller scale than shown on earlier biotope maps. Inconsistencies, however, could also be due to slight differences in methodology, rather than changes in the sedimentary environment or biological assemblages themselves. Cluster analysis of the data was used to characterise six macrofauna assemblages, see Figure 10-3, Volume 3. Of particular note are Assemblage D, Assemblage F and the species S. alveolata that form part of Assemblage E. Assemblage D is comprised of two stations on the south bank of the River Parrett. Assemblage D features Bathyporeia pelagica, which forms an important component of the diet of shore birds. The majority of stations (31 of 40 stations), ranging in location from the mid and upper shore regions of the Berrow and Stert Flats to the mouth of the River Parrett form part of 'Assemblage F'. This mid to high shore mudflat assemblage is critical to the overwintering bird populations and hence international legislative protection of the Bridgwater Bay area. Although the assemblage is typical of many UK estuaries, the very large area of habitat present at this site adds to its importance. Species of interest include H. ulvae and M. balthica (Ref 10.72). Assemblage E includes the reef-building S. alveolata tube worm species on the extreme lower shore of Stert Flats that may show increased activity with any rise in temperature. As discussed above, reef habitat created by Sabellaria spp. is a protected habitat. Inter-tidal surveys of the application site frontage using seine and fyke nets have also been undertaken. Of the species recorded, most notable were the shrimps Palaemon elegans, Palaemon longirostris and Palaemonetes varians and the opossum shrimps Mesopodopsis slabberi, Neomysis integer and Schistomysis spiritus. All of these species are potentially important prey species for the fish populations within the estuary. The total numbers of epifaunal individuals recorded within fyke net samples remained relatively stable between the August and October surveys, with a peak recorded in August, reducing by an order of magnitude in December. The most common species, the shrimp Crangon crangon, represented 80-95% of the total recorded individuals on each sampling occasion. The total numbers of Crangon remained stable between the August and October but showed an order of magnitude decline in the December survey. It has previously been reported that Crangon crangon retreats from the upper Severn Estuary as temperatures decline.
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Seine nets overall yielded a greater number of taxa than the Fykes. Of the 31 taxa recorded, nine were more typically infaunal (the annelids Arenicola marina, Eteone longa and Hediste diversicolor, the insect larvae Diptera, nematodes and the molluscs Hydrobia, Macoma and Retusa) or non-mobile epifauna (the barnacle Elminius). The yield of mobile epifauna was greater in the seines with 22 taxa versus 12 in the fyke nets. The total numbers of mobile epifaunal individuals remained relatively stable between the August and October surveys, with a peak in August, reducing by an order of magnitude in December. In August, the two most common species were the opossum shrimp Mesopodopsis slabberi and the shrimp Crangon crangon which comprised 97% of the total taxa in the seine nets (54% attributable to Mesopodopsis and 43% to Crangon crangon). In October this decreased to 63% but the opossum shrimp Neomysis integer was found in very high numbers and accounted for an additional 30% of the taxa found in October. Eight of the t31 taxa recorded in August and October were common to both surveys, whereas only Crangon crangon was common to all three surveys. The total numbers of Mesopodopsis remained relatively stable between the August and October, however, this species was completely absent from the December survey. Moffat & Jones 1993 (Ref 10.74) have previously reported marked seasonal change in the abundance and distribution of Mesopodopsis slabberi in the Tamar Estuary. Such changes in abundance were found to be temperature driven with low densities during winter and higher densities in the summer. The macroalgal assemblage in the rocky shore regions was seen to be associated with changes in tidal height rather than changes associated with a longitudinal gradient. A reduced seaweed flora (i.e. low in species richness) is present on both sides of Hinkley Point. The inter-tidal seaweed community contained no rare or designated species (with the exception of Corallina sp. turfs). However, the inter-tidal fucoids and red algae do form part of the classification Estuarine Rocky Shores for which a BAP has been written. Corallina

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The Corallina species found is provisionally described as officinalis and its distribution on the Hinkley Point foreshore encompasses an area of cross shore and longitudinal bedrock channels within an area approximately c.1,320m along the foreshore and c.90m across it (c.118,800m2 in area) and is illustrated on Figure 10-5, Volume 3. The presence of red algal turf habitat consisting primarily of Corallina is perhaps the main distinguishing feature of the Hinkley Point rocky foreshore. Corallina spp. or coral weed is a species complex belonging to a group of distinctive, calcareous, branching red seaweeds within the order Corallinales. They inhabit littoral wave-exposed rocky shores and shallow sublittoral habitats, and may provide a unique niche on exposed shores for a range of small cryptic animals that are not recorded elsewhere in the estuary including the isopod J. praehirsuta, the pycnogonid A. pygmaeus, and the polychaete P. dumerilii (Ref 10.48). The green algae U. lactuca can also be found associated with the Corallina turfs while F. serratus is often present around the mat edges (Ref 10.48). Corallina spp. produces upright fronds of 4-20cm in length from a discoid calcareous holdfast. It forms dense turfs in rockpools and along lower shore gullies, sometimes extending into the sublittoral fringe if sufficient light is available. Dense, sometimes monospecific, swards of Corallina are a characteristic feature of the mid to low shore
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rocky ledges to the west of Hinkley Point. This species complex is found all around the UK, extending north to Norway and Iceland and south to Morocco, the Canary Islands and Argentina. Corallina spp. is considered to be of medium importance. 10.4.72 Corallina turf habitat is distributed in two forms on the foreshore: cross-shore run off channels and channels that run parallel to the shore. The cross-shore run-off channels (or spillways) are generally heavily colonised by Corallina (often forming dense turfs) and provide habitat for a range of other species, notably invertebrates. These habitats therefore contribute significantly to foreshore biodiversity. The spillways are considered to be of greater importance than the shallower water channels which run parallel to the coastline which were found to contain intermittent distribution of Corallina spp. The richer Corallina turf habitats within the cross-shore run-offs were found to provide habitat for 38 other species including several which have not been recorded elsewhere, as described above. In conservation terms, these turfs and their associated communities can be considered as one of the more important inter-tidal habitats within the region (Refs 10.63 and 10.65). The position of these Corallina turfs on the foreshore at Hinkley Point has been found to remain stable over time (BEEMS 2010b, Ref 10.75). Corallina is considered to be of medium value on the basis that it is described as one of the hard substrate notable communities in CCW / Natural England Regulation 33 Advice (Ref 10.76). The classification Corallina officinalis, coralline crusts and brown seaweeds in shallow eulittoral rockpools adequately describes the occurrence of rockpools containing mainly coralline red algae on the mid- and lower-shore at Hinkley Point. This biotope contains subtypes specific to particular conditions, but the high turbidity of water found in the Hinkley Point pools reduces the diversity of seaweeds other than Corallina spp. (which mainly exist as a band around the edges of the pools, at 0-10cm depth). Fish and Fisheries 10.4.75 This section provides information on the fish assemblages and associated resource (from a commercial perspective) of the Severn Estuary. The information covers all fish species which may potentially be impacted at some stage of their lifecycle by the marine works associated with Hinkley Point C Project and thus includes the populations of fish which utilise the Severn Estuary as a migratory conduit between the sea and rivers flowing into the Severn Estuary, together with purely marine species which may utilise the estuary for the whole, or only part of their lifecycle. When considering estuarine fish species, especially in relation to the application of the WFD, it is important to understand the Ecological Use Functional Guild (EUFG) to which different species belong. The main ecological guilds for estuarine fish have been refined recently (e.g. Elliott & Dewailly (Ref 10.77) 1995, Potter & Hyndes 1999 (Ref 10.78), and Elliott et al. 2007 (Ref 10.79). The categories with their abbreviations are summarised below based on the categories in Franco et al. 2008 (Ref 10.80): Estuarine Species (ES): Can be resident (i.e. entire life cycle estuarine) or migrant (i.e. adults spawn in estuaries, marine larval phase, with juveniles returning to an estuary). Species with discrete populations in both estuarine and fully marine environments are included; Marine Migrants (MM): Adults live and spawn in marine environments, with juveniles frequently found in estuaries in large numbers. Juveniles can be opportunistic (i.e. can find suitable conditions within or outside estuaries), or dependant (i.e. require estuarine types of habitat);
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Marine Stragglers (MS): Live and breed in the marine environment. No estuarine habitat requirements but can enter lower reaches of estuaries. These stenohaline species generally avoid areas with salinities less than 35 which can restrict upestuary movement; Anadromous (A): Most growth occurs at sea, adults migrate from coastal marine areas to freshwaters to spawn (e.g. Atlantic salmon); Catadromous (C): Adults migrate from freshwaters to marine areas to spawn, but most growth occurs within freshwaters (e.g. European eel); Anadromous and catadromous species can be grouped together as diadromous species, i.e. migrating between marine and freshwater environments; and Freshwater Species (FS): Those freshwater species found frequently, but in moderate numbers in estuaries and whose distribution occasionally extends beyond areas of low salinity.

Published Information 10.4.77 Numerous studies have been conducted examining fish assemblages within the Severn Estuary and the Bristol Channel (e.g. Parker-Humphreys 2004; Ref 10.81). As a result, information is available regarding species richness, assemblage composition and population dynamics of the Estuary and Channel (e.g. Claridge et al. 1986 (Ref 10.82), Potter et al. 2001 (Ref 10.83) and Bamber 1995 (Ref 10.55)). A number of studies have been conducted to investigate the life history and migratory movement of specific species (e.g. Holden & Williams 1974 (Ref 10.84), Claridge & Potter 1983 (Ref 10.85), Ellis & Shakley 1997 (Ref 10.86) and Henderson & Seaby 2005 (Ref 10.87)). A comprehensive source of information regarding the abundance and species richness of fish in the inner Bristol Channel is provided by the entrainment and impingement data collected at Hinkley Point B from 1981 to 2008 and held within the Severn Estuary Data Set (SEDS) (Ref 10.35). No systematic targeted surveying or sampling of diadromous species is undertaken in the Estuary. The paucity of diadromous species in Hinkley Point B intake records (Ref 10.35) suggests that these species are highly dispersed in the estuary, and can only be sampled in meaningful numbers when aggregated for reproduction in rivers. Various data sources exist for diadromous species. Due to the high recreational, commercial and conservation value of salmon, a systematic monitoring framework exists for determining the status of various salmon fisheries. Data from rod catches and in some instances fish counters are used to estimate total run size, annually, on a river-byriver basis. The population size is then expressed in terms of the percentage of a conservation limit. The conservation limit is the number of salmon required to fully populate the river with juvenile salmon and is established for each river based largely on the area of suitable juvenile habitat present. The recent designation of the Wye, Usk and Tywi for shad and the Wye and Usk for sea and river lamprey has created the impetus for monitoring of these populations. Recent reports on lamprey by Harvey et al. 2006 (Ref. 10.88) and shad by Noble et al. 2007 (Ref. 10.89) provide the basis for assessment of these species. Both reports also discuss the results of surveys for these river populations in terms of the Severn Estuary. River specific datasets have been used to assess the status of riverine populations of species directly and the status of these species in the Estuary has been inferred largely from these data.

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The Hinkley Point Severn Estuary Dataset (SEDS) 10.4.82 A comprehensive source of information regarding the abundance and species richness of fish in the inner Bristol Channel is provided by the entrainment and impingement data that has been collected at Hinkley Point B from 1981 to 2008; these data are managed within the SEDS (Ref 10.35) maintained by Pisces Conservation Ltd. A total of 83 estuarine and marine fish species have been recorded in Bridgwater Bay from data obtained at the cooling water intake screens as part of SEDS. Between April 2006 and March 2007, 29 fish species were recorded and 42 species were recorded between January and December 2008 (P. Henderson pers. comm.). Prior to the relatively low species richness of the 2007 catch, the number of species caught each year ranged from a low of 33 in 1982 to a high of 46 species in 1998 (Ref 10.57). These data provide an insight on the impacts of recent changes in temperature and salinity on fish populations. The ten most abundant species recorded to date at the Hinkley Point B are sprat Sprattus sprattus, whiting Merlangius merlangus, sand goby Pomatoschistus minutus, poor cod Trisopterus minutus, Dover sole S. solea, pout Trisopterus luscus, common sea snail Liparis liparis, bass D. labrax, flounder Platichthys flesus and dab L. limanda. Eight of these species are marine migrants with one marine straggler (dab), and one estuarine species (sand goby). In terms of abundance and diversity, marine migrants provided the greatest contribution to the fish assemblage around Hinkley Point, and while marine straggler species richness is relatively high they are frequently represented by a small number of individuals. The routine monitoring undertaken at Hinkley Point B indicates a gradual increase in the number of fish caught, related to increasing sea temperature and decreased salinity. Increased abundance was observed for species which are relatively close to their northern limits in the Bristol Channel such as sole and bass. Conversely, species relatively close to their southern limit in the Bristol Channel (i.e. relatively cold-water preferring species) e.g. dab and sea snail, have experienced a decline in abundance. An observed step change in the set of occasional visitor species (i.e. those with a northern distribution approximating with, or south of the Bristol Channel) could also be related to increased sea temperatures. Description of the Fish Fauna of the Severn Estuary 10.4.86 The high tidal flows and turbidity observed in the Severn Estuary create harsh environmental conditions for fauna, with the sub-tidal seabed areas being particularly impoverished in terms of invertebrates. It is often claimed that this results in a unique fish community. However, the fish community is being broadly similar in structure to that of other estuaries in the south of England (Henderson, 1989 (Ref 10.90)). The impoverished benthic fauna means that the fish productivity of the estuary is primarily derived from zooplankton, including mysids and amphipods, in addition to the brown shrimp, Crangon crangon (Henderson and Holmes, 1989 (Ref 10.91). Few fish complete their entire life cycle in the estuary. Rather, most marine species exploit the productivity of the estuary as juveniles, moving in and out of the Estuary seasonally in response to limitations of low temperature and salinity in the latter part of winter. This period also coincides with periods of lower prey availability, as observed in mysids and carideans (Ref 10.45) and C. crangon, which are also thought to be limited by low temperature and salinity. The variable chemical and physical conditions prevalent in the Estuary, combined with low levels of small zooplankton required by larval fish, render it
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unsuitable for reproduction. Adult fish thus migrate offshore to waters with more stable physio-chemical conditions and abundance of planktonic prey. On maturation, many fish move offshore. Eggs and larvae then colonise the estuary via tidal movements in the summer and autumn, although some post-larval fish such as sprat and transparent goby may enter in early spring. Marine Species 10.4.88 The broader fish population of the Severn Estuary is of a similar species composition to that of other estuaries and coastal regions in south-west England, comprising approximately 80 species. The most common species are sprat and whiting, which are present at an order of magnitude higher by number than the next most abundant species namely poor cod, sand goby, sea snail, pout and sole. For marine species, the estuary is primarily used as a nursery ground the extensive areas of shallow marginal mudflat provide extensive juvenile feeding opportunities, but none of the species present completes its entire life cycle within the estuary. Studies indicate that the estuary holds a single, mobile fish community and relative abundances observed at Hinkley Point B are representative of the estuary between Berkley and Minehead. Recent years have seen a marked increase in the abundance and species richness of fish in the estuary (Henderson and Seaby, 2005 (Ref 10.87) and Potter et al., 2001 (Ref 10.83)), which may be as much as threefold the abundance observed in the early 1980s. Although this is partially attributable to improved water quality, as proposed by Potter et al. 2001 (Ref 10.83), increased temperature and decreased salinity appear to be the predominant environmental factors causing this increase. The benthic fauna of the estuary is impoverished as a whole, with the shallower margins having a relatively high benthic productivity compared to the relatively barren deeper areas. The shallow margins are also the preferred habitat of crustacean prey, most notably the brown shrimp Crangon crangon. Inter-tidal mudflats are of primary importance to fish. Of the four most abundant flatfish in the Severn Estuary, plaice and flounder utilise tidal transport to migrate shorewards with rising tides, feeding only on inter-tidal areas at high tide. Dab and sole, however, also utilise sub-tidal habitats for feeding (Mclusky, 1989; Ref 10.92) although in the case of sole, 0+ (years) fish were found to prefer shallower regions (Riley et al. 1981; Ref 10.93). This dependence on, and preference for, inter-tidal areas is related to prey abundance, notably C. crangon which is a key prey source (Ref 10.91). The preference for sheltered shallow areas is also noted for gadoids (Claridge et al. 1986; Ref 10.94) and bass (Kelley 1988; Ref 10.95). Ten marine species found within the estuary are UK BAP species: cod, herring, plaice, sole, whiting, blue whiting, hake, horse mackerel, ling and saithe (coalfish). The entire estuarine fish community of the estuary is designated under Ramsar Criterion 8 as one of the most diverse in Britain, an understanding that derives at least in part from the very long time series available through SEDS. Cod and the thornback ray are listed on the OSPAR List of Threatened and/or Declining Species and Habitats; however, thornback ray is only listed as under threat and/or in decline in the Greater North Sea and not in the Bristol Channel area. Cod is rated as vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN 2009; Ref 10.96).

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Seasonality of Fish Presence, Abundance and Migration 10.4.94 Numbers of individual fish present in the estuary, as indicated by captures at Hinkley Point B, show a clear seasonal pattern with lowest numbers present in April and May rising steadily through the summer and autumn to a peak in December and declining in January, February and March. Species abundance follows a similar, albeit less pronounced, seasonality. Lowest annual monthly average species counts occur in May, June and July, peaks in abundance occur in October and November and then abundance declines throughout the remaining winter months and spring. On the basis of the Hinkley Point B data, it is apparent that different species exhibit different patterns of abundance within the estuary. Most species exhibit a peak in abundance from September to January with all species being present for all, or almost all of the year. However, it is also apparent that the estuary is used to an appreciable extent at all times of the year, with no clear period when all fish species are in low abundance. The majority of fish species which occur in the Severn Estuary can be regarded as opportunists, which spawn outside the estuary. The tolerance of lower salinities of many of these opportunists enables them to exploit the higher productivity and/or lower predation risk present in parts of the estuary. Larvae of these species are tidally transported from offshore areas into the estuary in the late summer and autumn. Upon metamorphosis these species then colonise progressively upstream areas for a number of months utilising selective tidal stream transport. Broadly speaking, young of the year migrate seaward again in winter months, in response to reducing salinity (Ref 10.85) and/or temperature. In the case of a number of fish species, in particular gadoids the seaward migration is closely correlated with and in response to, abundance of C. crangon). This pattern of progressive colonisation in late summer and autumn, peak abundance in September and October, followed by reduced abundance due to seaward migration, can be seen for sand goby, sole, dab, pout and bass, with similar, but delayed patterns occurring for poor cod whiting and grey mullet. Such species will undertake several years migrating between the estuary and sea, before maturing when they will adopt a purely offshore existence. Diadromous Fish Species 10.4.98 Diadromous fish primarily utilise the estuary for migration between their natal rivers, most notably the rivers Wye, Usk and Severn, and marine feeding grounds. Seasonal migratory utilisation of the Severn Estuary is described in Table 10.4. They may also use the estuary for feeding (e.g. in the case of juvenile shad, and river lamprey). The following sections describe the migratory species associated with the Severn Estuary and associated rivers. Seven diadromous fish species are known to migrate through the Severn Estuary: Atlantic salmon Salmo salar, twaite shad A. fallax, allis shad Alosa alosa, river lamprey L. fluviatilis, sea lamprey P. marinus, sea trout Salmo trutta and European eel Anguilla anguilla. Each of the species is anadromous with the exception of the catadromous eel. All of these species, apart from sea trout and eel, are listed as Annex II species under the EC Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) (Ref 10.7). In addition, Atlantic salmon and river lamprey are listed under Annex V of the Directive. All of these diadromous species are afforded protection as UK BAP priority species. Sea lamprey and salmon are also on the OSPAR List of Threatened and/or Declining Species and Habitats and both sea and river lamprey are on the IUCN Red List of threatened species (Ref 10.96)). Twaite shad
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is on the IUCN Red List of threatened species and is listed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (Ref 10.15). Sea trout are protected under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 (Ref 10.18). Table 10.4 Migratory Movements of Diadromous Species found within the Severn Estuary Showing Important Months and Directions of Movement
Species Salmon Smolt Sea trout Shad Shad (Juv.) Sea Lamprey Sea Lamprey (Juv.) River Lamprey River Lamprey (Juv.) Eel Elvers * Migration key: = upstream movement, = downstream movement * Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

10.4.100 All seven migratory species found within the estuary together form a qualifying feature of the Severn Estuary Ramsar site. Although each of these species is present, only twaite shad, river and sea lamprey are qualifying features of the SAC designation of the Severn Estuary. 10.4.101 At least two individuals of five of the seven migratory species have been recorded at the intake screens of Hinkley Point B (the exceptions being allis shad and sea trout). In particular, relatively high numbers of juvenile twaite shad have been entrained at Hinkley Point with annual catches ranging from less than 10 in 1981, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1991 and 1993 to over 100 in 1989 (Aprahamian et al. 1998 (Ref 10.97)). Numbers of twaite shad impinged at Hinkley Point tend to peak in July and August. Estuarine Populations of Diadromous Species 10.4.102 In the context of estuarine fish species as a whole, other than eels, anadromous species of populations belonging to the adjacent rivers are rare, and infrequently recorded. For these migratory fish, the long-term data from Hinkley Point B is of more limited value, and other data are required to assess these populations which, although rare, form the basis of the statutory nature conservation designations of the estuary and the adjacent rivers. Given that anadromous fish populations are more amenable to survey when aggregated in rivers of origin, river specific data is more meaningful due to each river representing a discrete management and for some species, biological) unit. Riverine
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survey data have been relied upon and the available data, as presented for individual species below, have been interpreted in the context of the estuary. 10.4.103 Lamprey and shad surveys carried out on the rivers Wye and Usk indicate conditions for these rivers. In the absence of direct data, the Severn Estuary populations for these species can be inferred, and the validity of inferring the health of estuary populations from the adjacent rivers specifically in the context of the Severn Estuary is discussed by Harvey et al., 2006 (in Ref 10.98). The main uncertainty lies in the extent to which other rivers (most notably the Severn) contribute to the estuarine population, and the health of these populations. If, as has been suggested, lamprey populations are less faithful to their river of birth and the Severns population is therefore a more homogenous population, then the status of the species in any one river (e.g. the Wye and Usk) can be considered to be representative of the estuarine population as a whole. If this is not the case, the Usk and Wye are likely to comprise a sufficiently large proportion of the Severn Estuary population that the assumption is nonetheless correct. Salmon 10.4.104 Adult salmon migrate upstream primarily from July to September, with fish migrating during this time being primarily one sea-winter salmon. Adult salmon also migrate in earlier months of the year, and although inferior in number, these comprise higher numbers of multi-sea winter salmon. Multi-sea winter salmon, and those which migrate upstream in earlier months (traits partially genetically determined and co-related) are of higher conservation importance than salmon generally and have undergone disproportionately large declines. This is more pronounced in the River Wye stock than perhaps any other UK river. This is reflected in their being afforded a range of specific conservation measures of both a non-statutory and statutory nature (e.g. national spring salmon conservation byelaws). 10.4.105 Salmon smolts migrate downstream through the estuary towards marine feeding grounds between April and June. Available evidence suggests that salmon smolts migration is characterised by selective tidal stream transport on the ebb tide, near the water surface in the areas of strongest flow and takes place during the night (Moore et al., 1998; Ref 10.105). This study and others also indicates that smolts pass rapidly through the estuary and do not require a significant period of acclimation to saline conditions. 10.4.106 Adult salmon migration within estuaries is characterised by utilisation of tidal flows, and prior to entry to freshwater, salmon may reside in estuaries for varying periods. Potter, 1988 (Ref 10.99) found this to vary between 9 hrs and 190 days in the Fowey Estuary. During this time, salmon move up and down estuaries and progress upstream by making effective use of the flood tide and seeking refuge from outflowing tidal currents (ebb tides) by utilising more marginal, lower velocity parts of the estuary. 10.4.107 Residence time in estuaries is largely dependant on riverine flow and temperature with high riverine flows and low temperatures resulting in relatively quick river entry, and low flows with delayed entry whereby salmon reside in the estuary, or return to sea. An important feature of delayed entry is that this results in lower likelihood of salmon entering the river (Solomon and Sambrook 2004; Ref 10.100). 10.4.108 Atlantic salmon are considered to be in unfavourable condition within both the River Wye and Usk SACs. They are currently failing to meet their Conservation Limits (CLs) set by Salmon Action Plans (SAPs) on the Rivers Wye and Taff/Ely. Although there is some uncertainty, the Rivers Usk and Severn appear to be complying with their CL
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targets. Overall, it is likely that the estuary population is below the population sought by managers to maintain its conservation and fisheries objectives. Lamprey 10.4.109 Adult river lamprey are known to enter UK rivers generally in the late Autumn although unlike sea lampreys which undertake more extensive marine migrations, river lamprey make more use of estuarine habitats throughout their marine phase (Maitland, 2003; Ref 10.101). Sea lamprey migrate through the estuary and enter rivers to spawn in the early spring. 10.4.110 Claridge et al., 1986 (Ref 10.94) recorded peaks in abundance of downstream migrating juvenile river lamprey in the Severn Estuary between October and January. 10.4.111 The most recent condition assessment round in 2007 classified all UK SACs with the exception of the River Usk as unfavourable for river lamprey and all but the River Wye as unfavourable for sea lamprey. In the absence of a comprehensive understanding of the amount of available lamprey habitat within each of the rivers, the current conservation status assessment procedure does not enable an assessment of standing stock to be made, therefore precluding the derivation of a species population estimate. No estimates have been made of the number of returning adults or out-migrating transformers of river or sea lamprey within the tributary rivers of the Severn Estuary. Shad Allis Shad and Twaite Shad 10.4.112 Adult shad enter the Severn Estuary between April and June on their way to spawn in the rivers Severn, Wye and Usk, with peak immigration occurring in May. 10.4.113 Young of the year shad colonise the estuary from rivers from July, until migrating seaward in autumn. Claridge et al. (1986; Ref 10.94) recorded maximum numbers of juvenile twaite shad in the Severn in August and September. Juveniles may also return to the estuary the following April to May before returning seaward again in the late summer. This indicates that the estuary is more than merely a migration route for shad, and that it is of importance as a feeding ground for juveniles. 10.4.114 Inferring status of twaite shad populations in the estuary from the adjacent riverine populations leads to an uncertain conclusion. Although data comparable to that of Noble et al., 2007 does not exist for the Severn Estuary, its status is thought to be improving. However, both twaite and allis shad are currently classified by CCW as in unfavourable status for all of their designated rivers (Usk, Wye and Tywi). Few estimates of the stock sizes of twaite or allis shad within the Bristol Channel or the Severn Estuarys tributary rivers have been made and the current conservation status sampling protocol does not enable quantitative assessments of standing stock to be made. During the derivation of the UK BAP priority species list Miran Aprahamian (Environment Agency) estimated that the twaite shad populations in the UK totalled approximately 100,000 returning adults split between the Rivers Severn, Wye, Usk and Tywi as 20,000, 50,000, 20,000 and 10,000 individuals respectively (Ref 10.102). Eel 10.4.115 Eel are catadromous, reproducing in the sea and migrating to freshwaters to undertake most of their feeding and growth. The Severn Estuary and its rivers constitute the largest eel fishery in the UK; contributing 95% of all glass eels (juveniles migrating towards freshwater) caught in England and Wales. The majority of upstream migration
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of elvers (juveniles) takes place between April and September inclusive, although closer to tidal limits this may be concentrated within the months of April to July (Solomon and Beach, 2004; Ref 10.103). The same authors suggest that peak downstream runs of adult eels take place between September and November. 10.4.116 European eel is categorised as critically endangered on the IUCN Red list of threatened species. Eel are considered to be under threat and have seen a significant decline in stocks. The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) state that the European eel stock is outside safe biological limits. In 2007, the European Community entered into force a Europe-wide recovery plan (EC Council Regulation No. 1100/2007; Ref 10.104) with implementation measures which began in 2009. In March 2009, eel was also added to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix II list, which details species in which trade must be controlled. Eel Management Plans have been implemented for the Severn River Basin District and South West River Basin District (which includes that River Parrett). 10.4.117 Data from long-term monitoring at Hinkley Point B indicates a long term exponential decline in catches from the commencement of records in 1980. This trend is also evident in the recruitment of glass eels to Europe, which has declined since the late 1970s by as much as 99% according to selected indices and the most recent observations do not indicate recovery. Sea Trout 10.4.118 Sea trout share much of the Atlantic salmons biology as well as having a similar life history. Key differences include a higher degree of iteroparity in sea trout (i.e. individuals have a greater propensity to survive to undertake repeated spawnings) and sea trout undertaking their marine phase in coastal waters rather than undertaking the more extensive marine migrations of salmon. 10.4.119 Adult sea trout generally enter rivers in south Wales and the south-west of England from June-September, with smaller numbers entering at other times of the year. 10.4.120 Studies have indicated that sea trout smolt migratory behaviour is similar to that of salmon, taking place between April and June, utilising selective transport by ebb tides primarily at night, near the water surface in the fastest moving part of the water column (Moore et al. 1998; Ref 10.105). 10.4.121 Data from rod, putcher and net fisheries indicate that sea trout occur at much inferior numbers than salmon. This is in contrast with nearby rivers in south Wales which have strong sea trout populations (e.g. Tywi and Teifi) (CCW). This suggests that riverine and estuarine conditions within the Severn are inherently not favourable to sea trout. Given that the marine phase of sea trout is more coastal and estuarine than salmon, it may be that the highly dynamic nature of the Severn does not offer suitable inshore habitat. Offshore Fish Surveys 10.4.122 Recent offshore surveys in support of the environmental assessment process in Bridgwater Bay in the vicinity of Hinkley Point have recorded a total of 18 species of fish. All fish caught were less than 30cm in length. Overall, the species with the highest catch rate were greater sandeel, solenette and whiting (Ref 10.46). During the four surveys (one scoping and three quarterly surveys) no significant concentrations of finfish species, commercial or otherwise, were identified (Ref 10.46).
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10.4.123 These 2m beam trawl surveys did not catch a single individual of any species of prime conservation or ecological concern, such as eel, salmonids (salmon and sea trout), smelt, and shad. However, BEEMS (2009d; Ref 10.46) notes that the River Parrett, which discharges into Bridgwater Bay east of the two power station sites, historically had an eel population that was once heavily fished, with an estimated 10,000 eels per night in the river at peak migration times. Data collected by the Environment Agency for the period 1990 to 2006 indicate a general decline in eel density on the Parrett since the 1990s with little recruitment of small eel into the river. In 1992 maximum densities of up to 100 individuals per 100m2 were recorded with this decreasing to below approximately 20 individuals per 100m2 in 2006. Current European eel populations are depleted, and the evidence available suggests it is likely that only a small fraction of the historical eel run now takes place. Inter-tidal Fish Surveys 10.4.124 Inter-tidal fish surveys were instigated over Bridgwater Bay in mid 2009 and are continuing. Over the latter half of 2009, a total of 2,500 fish involving 20 species were been caught. Variations in species richness, relative species composition and total abundance has been observed on both a temporal and spatial basis, with the two sampling methods (fyke and seine nets) also demonstrating selectivity in the species and life stages captured. 10.4.125 Initial results from these surveys have indicated that the inter-tidal zone near Hinkley Point is a foraging and nursery area for a broad range of species, including several species and life stages (such as juvenile bass and mullet), which would appear to selectively use the upper inter-tidal zone in favour of sub-tidal habitats. Fish Impingement at the Hinkley Point B Power Station in 2008 and 2009 10.4.126 Forty two species of fish were recorded from the monthly impingement samples between January 2008 and June 2009. As is normal for the Bristol Channel, whiting and sprat were the most abundant fish species. A notable feature was the large number of snake pipefish impinged on the screens (this was the first time large numbers of this species have been recorded over a sampling period extending over the last 30 years). It is likely that many snake pipefish were able to penetrate the 1cm mesh and therefore passed through the cooling water circuit. This suggests that this pelagic pipefish has recently become extremely abundant in the estuary. 10.4.127 A comparison of the relative abundances of fish impinged upon the power station screens and those sampled offshore showed that sprat and whiting dominate the fish fauna at all sampled localities. Furthermore, of the 18 recorded species impinged on the screens in 2008, 13 were also caught in one or more of the offshore samples. A comparison of the fish species and relative abundances recorded offshore and from the power station screens, showed that herring, sprat and whiting dominated the fish fauna at all localities. 10.4.128 Sixteen species of fish were recorded from the monthly impingement samples in May and June 2009. As is normal for this locality at this time of year, the catch was dominated by whiting, with Dover sole and flounder also common (737, 217 and 90 individuals caught respectively). Late Spring and early Summer is the time of year when fish abundance and species richness is at the minimum for the year. A notable feature of the June 2009 sample was the unusually large number of 0+ (years) cod impinged. This was the largest number yet recorded in a 6 hour sample since sampling began in

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1981 and reflects a previously recognised trend of increasing cod abundance in the region. 10.4.129 Of the 32 species impinged during the survey period (November 2008 to October 2009), 21 were sampled offshore. In addition, four species were sampled offshore which were not recorded at the intake (i.e. anchovy, pearlside, sandeel, and solenette). Commercial Fishing 10.4.130 This section provides baseline information on commercial fisheries within the Severn Estuary and Inner Bristol Channel area (i.e. the area around Hinkley Point). The source of this information is BEEMS, 2010c (Ref 10.106). It considers the fisheries resources present in the area and those that depend on it in the commercial fishing sector. The catching sector supports a range of associated upstream activities such as vessel and gear suppliers, and downstream activities such as marketing, processing and distribution. Because of the estuarine nature of the area and importance of commercial fisheries for migratory species such as eels and salmonids, these are also discussed in this section. 10.4.131 A review of commercial fishing activity in the vicinity of the site has been undertaken and a number of data sources examined, including: radiological habits survey (Clyne et al. 2007; Ref 10.107); coastal fisheries of England and Wales (Walmsley and Pawson 2007; Ref 10.108); landing statistics from the Marine and Fisheries Agency; communications with Industry Liaison Officers, North Devon Fishermans Association and South Wales Sea Fisheries Committee; and data from the Environment Agency.

Overview of Fishing Activity in the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary 10.4.132 Commercial fishing effort in the Outer Bristol Channel is extensive with vessels from the North Devon, Cornish and south Wales coastlines targeting a variety of species throughout the year. Fisheries include potting for lobsters, crabs and whelks, with netting and trawling targeting the ray and mixed fisheries. Targeted fisheries for squid and bass also occur during the summer months with some north Devon boats fishing off the sand banks in the Bristol Channel. 10.4.133 There are also commercial fisheries for migratory species including salmon, sea trout and eels in the Severn Estuary and surrounding rivers. However, the value of rod fisheries dwarfs those of netting, and is mainly concentrated in the River Wye, targeting salmon. An Environment Agency study (Spurgeon et al. 2001; Ref 10.109) estimated the market value of fishing rights for salmon rod fisheries in England and Wales to be 128 million. This was based on an average rod catch of 15,200 fish and an average value of 8,400 per salmon caught. In contrast, the same study concluded that in 2001 the net economic capital value of salmon net fisheries in England and Wales was around 3 million. Marine Fisheries 10.4.134 The level of commercial fishing activity in the Severn Estuary and Inner Bristol Channel (BEEMS 2010c; Ref 10.106) is generally much lower than on grounds to the west, principally as a result of the strong tides, together with the low density of fish above the Minimum Landing Size (MLS). The estuary acts as important nursery grounds for many
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commercially valuable species including sole and bass and as a result, the majority of the fish found within the estuary are juveniles. 10.4.135 During the surveys undertaken by Clyne et al. (2007; Ref 10.107), it was noted that the level of commercial fishing was relatively low, with five full-time commercial fishermen active in the area, three at Stert Flats at Stolford using stake and setnets, two at the Blue Anchor also using stakenets and a further two fishermen that had commercial licences but were not using them, based out of Watchet. Commercial fishing for crustaceans was only identified at Stolford. There, two fishers were setnetting over mud mainly for brown shrimps Crangon crangon. To the east of Hinkley Point two fishermen maintain ranks of fixed stowe or stake-nets on the Stert Flats, catching shrimps, mullet, rays and sole from July to October (Warmsley and Pawson 2007; Ref 10.108), and molluscs are gathered by hand. 10.4.136 Many of the commercial fishing vessels operating out of the north Somerset and south Wales coastal areas are under 10m in length and operate on a part-time basis supplementing income with charter angling trips, especially for cod which have remained relatively abundant in the area. The under 10m fishing fleet is not required to submit logbooks to Defra detailing catch levels, and as a result direct landings figures for this sector are not available. There are three <10m vessels working part time from the Usk at Newport, using small beam trawls for flatfish and brown shrimps which are also taken in Cardiff Bay. There are two part-time boats operating out of Minehead, setting pots and taking out angling parties with several part-time boats also setting pots and nets close inshore between Highbridge and Burnham-on-Sea. Two angling charter boats operate from Watchet harbour, taking regular inshore angling trips along the coast between Blue Anchor and Stert Flats. It would appear from the available data that trawling and drift netting are no longer being practiced by anyone in the waters off Hinkley Point. 10.4.137 The species with the greatest value per kilogram is sole, followed by sea bass and then cod. When actual catches are looked at, sea bass is most valuable, followed by crab and then plaice. Overall, sea bass is considered the more commercially important species followed by sole and crab. The catches and price of the other species make them profitable, but not the main area of focus. These data are well reflected in the types of gear used in the area with driftnets and fixed nets used to catch sea bass and cod, pots to catch crabs and trawling for sole and plaice. 10.4.138 The data represent the landings for the whole of statistical rectangle 31E6 and cover a large area, including some commercially active ports such as Swansea and Port Talbot. Therefore, the actual level of commercial fishing around Hinkley Point cannot be calculated accurately. 10.4.139 Consultation with the MFA (now the MMO) and local fisheries officers (BEEMS 2009f; Ref 10.137) corroborated the view that commercial activity in the Hinkley Point area is very limited. There have been no industry observer trips out of Watchet or Minehead, because there is no large-scale fishing activity there, and the only port nearby with commercial-scale landings is Ilfracombe. 10.4.140 The representative of the North Devon Fishermens Association (Ref 10.137) stated that none of its members operated as far up the Channel as Hinkley Point and they have no large-scale commercial activity east of Lynmouth. There are no trawlers or potters from the NDFA that work that ground. It was also stated that, because of the extremely strong tidal currents around Hinkley Point and further up the Bristol Channel, there would be little if any commercial trawling or drift netting.
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10.4.141 The representative from the South Wales Sea Fisheries Committee (Ref 10.137) said that boats do use a lot of the Channel but would not operate as far up as Hinkley Point on any large scale. Migratory Fisheries 10.4.142 Fisheries for migratory species are of significant economic value, particularly in rural areas. However, overall salmon and sea trout netting is declining, in response to the phasing out of mixed stock fisheries and falling demand for wild salmon. Eel and elver net fishing in recent years has fluctuated in response to market forces. 10.4.143 Migratory species that are targeted commercially in the Severn Estuary and surrounding rivers include salmon, sea trout and eels. Both allis and twaite shad are also present in the Severn Estuary and were formerly fished commercially before numbers declined and the fishery collapsed. In the middle of the 19th century the value of shad rivalled that of salmon, and in the River Severn, shad made up about one-third of all catches. 10.4.144 Many of the net fishing methods used to target migratory species on the Severn Estuary are unique to the area and have a long history, notably lave netting (using a 'Y' shaped net and 'stalking' or 'cowering' in the shallows to catch the salmon migrating), and putcher nets (rows of baskets which use the ebb tide to trap salmon). Salmon and Sea Trout 10.4.145 The estuarys fisheries exploit mixed stocks of salmon originating from at least seven rivers entering the estuary, most notably the Severn, Wye and Usk. Net licences issued for catching salmon also allow the fishermen to take sea trout. Hence, it is impossible to distinguish the allocation of effort between salmon and sea trout fishing. Sea trout are found in 26% of all rivers, and their distribution across England and Wales is very irregular. Wales has the widest distribution, with sea trout present in 49% of rivers. The licensed fishery in the Severn Estuary in 2007 comprised 2 seine nets, 20 lave nets and 4 fixed engines (i.e. putchers). 10.4.146 Salmon caught before June 1st must be released, with catches continuing from then until August. In 2000, local interests bought out drift netting in the mouth of the Usk, in Newport Bay and the putcher rank just upstream of Uskmouth which accounts for the lack of reported salmon net catches in the Usk after 1999. The breakdown of the net catches in the rivers Severn, Wye and Usk by gear type from 1999-2006 indicates that fixed engines or putchers account for the highest numbers of salmon taken. There are salmon putchers at the south-west and north-east ends of the Severn Bridge, at Aust and Beachley, and at Alvington below Lydney Lock. 10.4.147 The total provisional figures for net and rod catches taken for the Midlands (River Severn) and Welsh (all rivers) regions in 2007 made up 21% of the total catches for England and Wales in 2007. Catch figures indicate the importance of the recreational rod and line fishery in Welsh rivers (especially the rivers Wye and Usk) with reported catches 7 times higher than those of the net fishery. These figures do not take account of catches of salmon which go unreported (including those taken illegally), and it is estimated that there may have been a total of 22 tonnes of additional fish caught in 2007 (Cefas and Environment Agency, 2008; Ref 110).

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Eel 10.4.148 Eel are found in all European countries bordering or connected to the North Atlantic. They are caught as elvers (juveniles returning from the sea) or adults in a variety of fisheries each with different levels of exploitation. Over the past two decades, catch data from across Europe show glass eel populations declining rapidly from the high levels of the 1970s, while 2001 produced a record minimum of just one percent of previous peak levels, and most recent data show a continued decrease and no significant recovery from the 2001 all-time low. 10.4.149 Only hand-held dip nets are permitted for the capture of glass eels or elvers, and fishing is concentrated where the fish are plentiful and easy to catch, principally in estuaries of the Severn and other rivers draining into the Bristol Channel such as the Parrett. Catch returns from these fisheries have been compulsory over the past few years and provide a good indication of the trend in eel recruitment. The fishing season is short, coinciding with the elvers entering rivers on spring tides in April and May (Environment Agency, 2004; Ref 111). 10.4.150 The number of licenses issued to fish for glass eel/elver in the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel ranged from 487 to 577 between 2002 and 2004. Elvers are known to be targeted during their landward migration between November and March using dipnets within the area just seaward of Bridgwater Bay. The national 2007 catch was 2,051kg of which the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel is estimated to represent 95% equating to a catch of 1,948kg. Based on an average individual weight per elver of approximately 0.5g this would equate to 3,896,000 individuals. Only a small proportion of elvers caught are for domestic consumption, the majority are sold for re-seeding eel farms in Asia. 10.4.151 Eels are caught commercially in a number of locations and by a variety of instruments including fyke nets, putcheons and weir traps. The level of eel fishing effort is measured as the number of licensed instruments of all types. Licence sales in England and Wales have fluctuated between 1,500 and 2,700 (per year), most likely in response to market price fluctuations. Many rivers throughout the Severn Estuary catchment support eel fyke net fisheries between spring and autumn. Fyke nets fished on the Wye take yellow eels in spring and summer and silver eels in autumn. 10.4.152 Between 2002 and 2004 the number of licenses issued for this fishery reduced from 80 to 47 although catches in fact rose over this period from 156kg in 2002 to 980kg in 2003 followed by a slight decline in 2004 to 569kg. The 2007 annual adult eel catch for Wales, South West England and the Midlands was 2,396kg (data provided by the Environment Agency). The 2004 catch indicates that the Severn Estuary represents approximately 12% of this regional catch. As such, the 2007 adult eel catch for the Severn Estuary is estimated at approximately 288kg. Based on empirical data there is presumed to be a 20:1 ratio of male to female eel in the Severn Estuary. Male and female eel reach maturity and migrate at different ages and as such will vary in weight. Taking an average weight however for male silver eel of 90g and 580g for females (based on the most common ages at maturity) the adult eel catch for the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel would equate to 3,040 males and 24.8 females. Recreational Fishing 10.4.153 Recreational angling accounts for the highest amount of fishing effort within the Severn Estuary and Inner Bristol Channel. Anglers fish from the shores along much of the Estuary targeting cod in the winter and bass in the summer, with other species such as
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whiting, flounder, eels, rays, sole and conger also caught. Angling is also carried out from charter vessels, and both forms represent an important recreational use of the Estuary, even though the quantities and values of fish taken are small compared to commercial fisheries. Marine Mammals 10.4.154 A desk-based review of available data was conducted for marine mammals within the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel. Due to the low numbers of individuals present, however, no surveys of marine mammals were undertaken for the purposes of this EIA. This is consistent with the advice obtained from Natural England. 10.4.155 The desk-based review provides a general summary of the limited information available for the Severn Estuary as a whole. In particular data are available from a number of surveys carried out in the Bristol Channel by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the Whale and Dolphin Society (WDCS) and Greenpeace, as well as public sightings recorded by the Sea Watch Foundation (SWF). Data are also available from the Atlas of Cetacean Distribution in North-West European Waters (Reid et al. 2003; Ref 10.112).

10.4.156 The coastal waters of Wales and south-west England are important for whales and dolphins and are relatively rich in terms of the cetacean species present (Ref 10.112 and Boer and Simmonds 2003 (Ref 10.113)). The diversity and abundance of marine mammals, however, decreases with increased proximity to the Severn Estuary (SWF 2009 (Ref 10.114). Sparse data are available for marine mammals in the Severn Estuary and no information is available regarding baseline marine mammal assemblages off Hinkley Point. Based on available data, however, it is likely that marine mammals are largely absent from this area. 10.4.157 It is considered that there are no resident populations of marine mammals within the estuary (Watkins and Colley 2004; Ref 10.115). However, a number of species are thought to use the estuary as a feeding area during different times of the year, namely the harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena, Rissos dolphin Grampus griseus, common dolphin Delphinus delphis, bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncates and grey seal Halichoerus grypus (Ref 10.112). Harbour porpoise, bottlenose dolphin and grey seal are Annex II species under the Habitats Directive, but are not mentioned in the SAC site designation for the Severn Estuary. 10.4.158 The marine mammal species most commonly recorded in the Bristol Channel is the harbour porpoise (see Figure 3.1 in Ref 10.26 (Volume 4, Section 10, Part B)). The harbour porpoise (otherwise known as the common porpoise) is the smallest and the most numerous of the cetaceans found in North-Western European waters (Walton 1997 (Ref 10.116)). The coastal waters of south Wales are thought to provide important foraging grounds for this species. Harbour porpoises are recorded in the Bristol Channel year round with numbers tending to peak in the summer months (Ref 10.112). In addition to harbour porpoise, small numbers of common, bottlenose and Rissos dolphin have been recorded within the Bristol Channel (see Figures 3.2 and 3.3 in Ref 10.26 (Volume 4, Section 10, Part B)). Rare visitors to offshore waters of the Bristol Channel have also included the minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata and killer whale Orcinus orca (Ref 10.112). 10.4.159 In 2002, the WDCS, in association with Greenpeace, carried out a cetacean survey off the coast of Wales and south-west England (Ref 10.112). The survey recorded 147 separate sightings of an estimated 380 dolphin and porpoises over 28 survey days. Four cetacean species were identified: harbour porpoise, common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin
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and Rissos dolphin. When considering the number of individuals recorded for each sighting it was found that the greatest abundances of these species were recorded within the Bristol Channel (see Figure 3.4 in Ref 10.26 (Volume 4, Section 10, Part B)). 10.4.160 More recent surveys of the outer Bristol Channel were conducted by the MCS in 2007 which confirmed the importance of the region for cetaceans (Ref 10.117). Over 90 hours of surveys were carried out within the Outer Bristol Channel throughout spring and summer. These surveys did not extend into the estuary as far as Hinkley Point with the furthest upstream survey transect running from Padstow to Swansea. Harbour porpoise was the most commonly observed species during these surveys which mainly occurred close to or within, coastal waters with sightings focussed around the coast of Pembrokeshire. Common dolphins were generally found further offshore and were found to occur in larger pods than the harbour porpoise. Three sightings of grey seal were also recorded during the survey period in the Bristol Channel. 10.4.161 Sightings reported by the public to the Sea Watch Foundation indicate that the harbour porpoise is frequently reported in the Bristol Channel off Ilfracombe, approximately 45 miles west along the coast from Hinkley Point. Between September 2008 and 4 January 2009 a total of 57 sightings of harbour porpoise and 12 common dolphins have been recorded on the database (Ref 10.114). 10.4.162 Studies to date have indicated an absence of residential populations of marine mammals near Hinkley Point, but cannot preclude the presence of individuals migrating through the area. 10.4.163 Following recently revised guidance from the JNCC and subsequent discussions with Natural England, EDF Energy is establishing underwater acoustic monitoring local to the site in order to refine the understanding of background noise around Hinkley Point and actual cetacean movements around Hinkley Point. Data arising from this monitoring effort will be available before work commences on the jetty and, hence, would be considered in formulating the detailed working arrangements for constructing the proposed jetty. (Likewise, protected fish species that may be sensitive to high sound levels, such as salmonids, may be present in the Hinkley Point area although available data from long term studies would suggest that their occurrence is rare.) d) Summary of Value of Marine Ecology Receptors 10.4.164 Table 10.5 below provides a summary of the value of marine ecology receptors (as described above), based on the Legislation, Policy and Guidance identified in Section 10.2 and with reference to the Assessment Methodology described in Section 10.3. 10.4.165 It should be noted that those species identified in Table 10.5 as Non-diadromous fish (which are not UK BAP species) are henceforth referred to as Low Value Fish and those identified as Diadromous and non-diadromous fish (which are UK BAP species) are referred to as High Value Fish. e) Do Nothing Scenario 10.4.166 The current marine ecology baseline is subject to inputs from the operational Hinkley Point B Power Station and, should the proposed works not go ahead, this baseline would remain unchanged until electricity generation ceases at that site. The current expectation is that Hinkley Point B would cease generation in 2016 but the operator may seek to extend the life of that site if it is both safe and economical to do so.

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Table 10.5 Importance and Value of the Marine Receptors


Receptor Phytoplankton; zooplankton; epifauna; benthic flora; sub-tidal invertebrates Inter-tidal invertebrates Importance Not designated. This assemblage occurs commonly and generally is of local importance. Value Low

Inter-tidal invertebrates are an important food resource for waders in Bridgwater Bay, particularly the species Macoma. balthica, Hediste diversicolor and Hydrobia ulvae. The importance of habitat which supports these invertebrates varies throughout the inter-tidal zone and foreshore, with areas of mudflat providing features of greatest importance. Non-diadromous fish which are not UK BAP species (i.e. not classified as being of National importance). These include sprat, poor cod and sand goby. Some diadromous species include Annex II species of international importance designated under the Habitats Directive (e.g. Atlantic salmon, twaite shad, allis shad and river lamprey). A number of non-diadromous fish species are listed as priority UK BAP species and hence are of National importance. These include cod, herring, plaice, sole, whiting, blue whiting, hake, horse mackerel, ling, Couchs goby and saithe (coalfish). Some species include Annex II species of international importance designated under the Habitats Directive although not mentioned in the SAC designation for the Severn Estuary. Annex I Habitat of international importance designated under the Habitats Directive. The red alga: Corallina is common around the UK coastline, however Corallina turf habitat, although not strictly protected by a conservation designation, where present in cross channel features, provides a habitat for many other organisms and increase foreshore diversity.

Low to Medium

Low Value Fish (i.e. non-diadromous fish which are not UK BAP species) High Value Fish (i.e. diadromous and non-diadromous fish which are UK BAP species)

Low

High

Marine mammals

High

Sabellaria reef Corallina

High Medium

10.5

Assessment of Impacts
a) Introduction

10.5.1

In this section the potential impacts on marine ecology that are associated with the jetty development are assessed. The assessment has been undertaken in line with the EIA methodology described in Chapter 5 and the specific magnitude and value/sensitivity criteria for marine ecology receptors detailed in Section 10.3. Potential impacts are assessed against baseline conditions described in Section 10.4 and Table 10.5. Chapter 6 provides a detailed description of the proposed jetty development. The assessment includes for the adoption of design options to minimise potential
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10.5.2

environmental impact and best practice as indicated in various sections of the Environmental Management and Monitoring Plan (EMMP) (see Appendix 26-1, Volume 4). Impacts are assessed for each of its phases (i.e. construction, operation, dismantling / restoration and, if required, removal and site reinstatement if the DCO for Hinkley Point C Project is not granted). In each case the relevant section starts with a list of the potential impacts followed by a short impact description, then an assessment of that impact on each of the relevant marine ecological receptors identified in Table 10.5 (as applicable). 10.5.3 10.5.4 All of the works associated with the temporary jetty are considered to be reversible. It is not anticipated that construction of the service road to the foreshore would have any impact on marine ecology receptors, including the Corallina turf habitats, due to its upper shore location (above MHWS) (hence no impact is predicted). Any increase in surface water discharge to sea is likewise not considered to be likely to result in impacts on marine ecology receptors, as discharges would be directed to the existing Hinkley Point C Drainage Ditch after passing through an oil interceptor and Water Management Zone (WMZ). The discharge location of Hinkley Point C Drainage Ditch to the Bristol Channel foreshore is approximately 200m from the nearest location of recorded Sabellaria presence and 100m from the nearest area of Corallina. No impacts from freshwater discharges are therefore predicted on these receptors. Similarly, while it is possible that dust would be generated during the construction of the platform for the landward storage area, it is not anticipated that this would cause any adverse effect on the foreshore or inter-tidal area due to the distance of these areas and their component habitats from the landward storage area and the fact that sensitive Corallina and Sabellaria habitats are subject to diurnal tidal flushing. No impacts as a result of this activity are therefore predicted on these receptors. There is a risk of impacts due to accidents occurring during all phases of jetty development (e.g. water quality changes due to chemical spillages and surface water discharges containing spilled/leaked contaminants etc.). It is not possible to accurately assess the potential impact of such incidents/accidents as they could vary significantly in scale, location and type with variable outcomes on potential receptors. However, potential pollutants and discharges to the marine environment during such activities could pose a risk to some environmental receptors. The implementation of best practice management measures would be the mechanism by which the potential risk of accidents occurring and any consequential impacts would be either eliminated or minimised. In addition, an Accidents and Incidents Response Plan will be developed as part of the EMMP, which will prescribe actions to be taken in order to contain, control and manage pollution in the unlikely event of a spillage or other incident. b) Impacts during Construction Introduction 10.5.7 The potential impacts that may arise during construction of the jetty development are identified below. Each of these effects would not, however, be applicable to each of the marine receptors identified in Table 10.5. Hence, following the description of the potential impact, only those receptors that could be influenced by it are considered further. As explained in Table 10.5, in the following impact assessment and in Table 10.8, those species identified as Non-diadromous fish (which are not UKBAP species) are referred to as Low Value Fish and those identified as Diadromous and nondiadromous fish (which are UKBAP species) are referred to as High Value Fish.
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10.5.5

10.5.6

10.5.8

The potential impacts are defined as: Code C1: temporary and permanent loss of sensitive marine receptors; Code C2: physical disturbance of marine receptors due to piling activities at each jetty upright and to provide access for vehicles and plant, the delivery of materials and the workforce; Code C3: changes in cross-shore and longshore, inter-tidal drainage patterns; Code C4 physical disturbance due to dredging around the seaward end of the jetty (including impacts associated with the re-suspension within the water column of bottom sediments such as smothering etc.); Code C5: other water quality impacts due to run-off during construction and potentially associated with other accidents and incidents (particularly spillage and leaks of fuels and oils and possibly other chemicals, including cement and concrete if it is used in the jetty construction); Code C6: noise and vibration; and Code C7: artificial light disturbance during 24 hour construction works.

10.5.9

Phytoplankton, zooplankton, epifauna and benthic flora are not considered in any further detail below. This is because, in broad terms and in the context of the wider study area, they are considered to be receptors of low value and sensitivity in their own right (see Table 10.5). Furthermore it is assessed that the predicted construction phase impacts (i.e. C1 to C7) would all have a very low magnitude impact on these receptors. This takes into consideration the fact that these species and habitats exist within a vast and variable estuarine environment subject to considerable daily variations in conditions. As a result, the additional potential changes caused by construction phase impacts would be no more than of a very low magnitude and localised. Consequently, the significance of these impacts is assessed to be negligible for these particular receptors. As described in Section 10.4, EDF Energy has commissioned a study by Cefas to address the requirements of new noise and vibration guidance from JNCC (JNCC 2010; Ref 10.118) in relation to marine mammals. However, the following impact assessments are not contingent on the results of this work as diadromous fish and marine mammals have been assumed to be present and potential impacts assessed accordingly. IMPACT: Temporary and Permanent Loss of Sensitive Marine Receptors (C1, see Table 10.8)

10.5.10

10.5.11

Details of the jetty construction are provided in Chapter 6. The location of the jetty in relation to the foreshore is indicated in Figures 10-4 and 10-5, Volume 3. The assumptions used in this assessment are that: based on number of piles proposed to be installed, their dimensions and potential disturbance around each pile, it is assumed that the area potentially impacted by physical disturbance during the pile driving would be circa 320m2 (this is an estimate subject to detailed design); access to the jetty for land-based construction activities (rather than marine based) would be via a service road to the foreshore and plant movement would be limited to areas above mean high water; pre-cast concrete cross heads would be used during construction and placed over pile bents to limit over-water concreting; piles within the upper foreshore area would be installed using land-based plant; piles in areas beyond the upper foreshore would be installed from a jack-up barge;

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10.5.12

drill and drive techniques would be employed for establishment of piles; and the marker buoys would be attached to pre-cast concrete blocks on the channel bed (with dimensions of approximately 5m3).

These works are predicted to potentially affect the extent of inter-tidal invertebrate and Corallina habitats (sub-tidal effects are discussed in paragraph 10.5.9 above). The inter-tidal Sabellaria present on the lower foreshore is greater than 500m from the jetty and, hence, would not be directly affected (Figure 10-4, Volume 3) (no impact is predicted). Corallina

10.5.13

As Corallina is present on the foreshore within the proposed areas of jetty construction, it would be impacted by the works. The receptor value of Corallina is considered to be medium as, although the habitat Corallina turf provides is not specifically protected or designated, it provides a habitat for many other organisms and its presence increases foreshore biodiversity. The locations of channels which contain Corallina, and associated run offs, were mapped during recent surveys. The distribution of Corallina in relation to the proposed jetty is shown in Figure 10-5, Volume 3, where it can be seen that the jetty would cross the western extent of the channels that support Corallina but has been deliberately positioned between, rather than over, mapped areas of crosschannel features that are heavily colonised by this species (and can be described as maintaining Corallina turf). Given the proposed siting of the temporary jetty, the scale of this habitat loss would be very small (c.320m2) and it is likely that Corallina would only be present in parts of the habitat lost. Due to the potentially temporary nature of the effect, the magnitude of this potential impact is predicted to be very low and its significance is assessed to be minor adverse. Inter-tidal invertebrates

10.5.14

Areas of the upper foreshore at Hinkley Point lie within the Severn Estuary SAC, SPA and Ramsar site. However, only to the east of the existing Hinkley Point Power Station Complex, in Bridgwater Bay, are there areas of inter-tidal mudflat habitat (supporting inter-tidal invertebrates) which are of value for the maintenance of feeding waders and waterfowl. These areas would remain unaffected by construction of the jetty. The intertidal habitats which would be affected by construction activities consist predominantly of rocky, wave cut platform and are not considered to contribute substantially to the maintenance of the qualifying features of the Severn Estuary SAC, SPA and Ramsar site, as evidenced by the lack of use by feeding or roosting birds (see Chapter 11). Hence the value of the receptor (inter-tidal invertebrate habitat) is assessed as low in this instance. The biotopes potentially affected by jetty construction activities contain no known protected species of inter-tidal invertebrates. The overall area of Bridgewater Bay is approximately 70km2. Potential loss of an area of c.320m2 of rocky inter-tidal habitat would have an impact of only imperceptible magnitude. Due to the limited extent of the effect, the impact magnitude is assessed as very low and the significance of the potential impact as negligible. IMPACT: Physical Disturbance (C2 and C4)

10.5.15

The location of the jetty in relation to the foreshore is shown in Figures 10-4 and 10-5, Volume 3. Piling, dredging and the use of construction plant and materials could disturb the physical environment (and its species and habitats) and drainage characteristics of the inter-tidal area in and around the site of these works for the jetty development. The

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following paragraphs describe the potential disturbance that could arise and then assesses potential impacts on: 10.5.16 sub-tidal invertebrates; low value fish ; high value fish, and marine mammals; Sabellaria; and Corallina.

The greatest physical disturbance is likely to arise as a result of pile driving (drilling) into the foreshore and within the sub-tidal zone. Sub-tidal invertebrates

10.5.17

Dredging is proposed to occur to a depth of 3.5m over an area of 160m by 27m. Dredging is likely to mobilise sediments and re-suspend particulates in the water column. This disturbance can lead to the displacement of organisms and re-suspension of bottom sediments. The Severn Estuary, however, is a naturally turbid environment and hence the sediment plume would be largely unnoticeable beyond a few hundred metres of the dredging point and the organisms present are well adapted to such conditions. The biotopes potentially affected by these activities contain no protected species and cover an area of 70.53km2 within the Bridgwater Bay area alone, so disturbance due to dredging over an area of circa <0.5ha (160m x 27m) is predicted to cause an impact of very low magnitude. As described in paragraph 10.5.9, sub-tidal invertebrates are assessed as being of low value. In addition, it is likely that there would be some recovery of species within the dredged area with time. The overall impact significance is considered to be negligible. Low Value Fish (Pile Driving, Plant Movements and Dredging)

10.5.18

Fish are likely to be present in the sub-tidal zone during the capital dredging and, therefore, could be impacted if present. Some fish will avoid turbid water, while others will use it to their advantage. As previously stated, the Severn Estuary is a highly turbid estuary and any plume of sediment disturbed by dredging would be largely unnoticeable within a few hundred metres of the dredging point. The receptor value in this case is considered to be low and the impact magnitude is assessed as being very low on the basis that the zone of influence would be small and the disturbance would be temporary and avoidable. The impact significance is therefore assessed as negligible. High Value Fish (Pile Driving, Plant Movements and Dredging)

10.5.19

High Value Fish and marine mammals could be present in the study area during certain times of year and/or intermittently; consequently they could be affected by sediment disturbance associated with the piling works and the capital dredging. The receptor value and sensitivity in this case is high, including Annex II species of international importance (designated under the Habitats Directive) and nationally important BAP species. Impacts are predicted to be direct and temporary. However, fish and marine mammals would be able to avoid areas of physical disturbance and only a very small percentage of the sub-tidal habitat would be affected. Hence the magnitude of the impact is predicted to be very low (as above) and an impact of minor adverse significance is predicted.

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Sabellaria (Pile Driving, Plant Movements and Dredging) 10.5.20 Section 5 of the advice given under Regulation 33(2)(a) of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations (Ref.10.76) identifies that Sabellaria reef has a moderate level of vulnerability to changes in concentration of suspended solids. The proposed location of the jetty is not expected to result in areas of Sabellaria being affected by disturbance or affected by sediment resuspension, as no areas are present within 500m of the jetty. The receptor value is high, as it is an Annex I Habitat of international importance (designated under the Habitats Directive); however, given the lack of Sabellaria in close proximity to the jetty no impacts are predicted. Corallina (Pile Driving, Plant Movements and Dredging) 10.5.22 The movement and operation of plant and personnel along the foreshore for the pile driving during the jetty construction is likely to disturb the Corallina channels. That is, the channels supporting Corallina swards may become blocked during construction due to the presence of piles, disturbance due to construction plant, the deposition of construction materials or modifications to allow the passage of personnel, plant and vehicles. Any blockage of such channels could disrupt the natural longshore and crossshore drainage patterns of the foreshore. In turn, this could influence the locations in which Corallina swards can develop or continue to flourish; therefore, a reduction in longshore and cross-shore drainage could reduce Corallina biomass on the foreshore. As described above, the receptor value of Corallina is considered to be medium as, although it is not protected, it provides a habitat for many other organisms. The jetty is located at the far western end of the extent of the known distribution of Corallina (see Figure 10-5, Volume 3) and, as indicated above, although it does cross over the channels supporting Corallina its footprint has been designed to fall between, rather than over, mapped areas of the cross-channel features. Even if the construction works were to extend further than 20m from the alignment of the jetty itself, an area of less than 4% (4,500m2) of the total Corallina biotope area (c.118,800m2 within the vicinity of Hinkley Point) would be present within the footprint of the works. This represents a relatively small area that avoids the more interesting cross-shore features and leads to the conclusion that, even if all of the Corallina biotope within this area were disturbed (which is highly unlikely), this change would be of very low magnitude. Consequently, the significance of this impact would be minor adverse. Although dredging could occur in relatively close proximity to the low water mark and the Corallina turf areas of the lower shore, given the naturally high suspended sediment concentrations in the water column and the tidal regime, any increase in suspended sediment concentrations would be slight and likely to be advected by the tides. Overall, therefore, the magnitude of any impact on Corallina associated with dredging is predicted to be very low (i.e. it is expected that the receptor would experience little or no degradation and disturbance is likely to be within the range of natural variability) and the significance of this impact significance is assessed as minor adverse. IMPACT: Changes in cross-shore and longshore inter-tidal drainage patterns (C3) Corallina (Longshore and Cross-shore Drainage Pattern) 10.5.25 Since Corallina is present on the foreshore near the areas of jetty construction it could be affected by changes to drainage patterns. Moreover because the presence of Corallina is associated with extensive longitudinal and cross-shore drainage pathways
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10.5.21

10.5.23

10.5.24

across the shore, the potential exists for a more widespread impact as a result of interruptions to the drainage. Although the jetty has been positioned to avoid the more significant cross-shore drainage features that maintain Corallina turf, impacts to the longshore features are predicted to be direct and temporary. Due to the reliance of Corallina on longshore drainage, the magnitude of the impact is predicted to be medium (i.e. the receptor may experience some degradation with possible reductions in biomass beyond the range of natural variability in areas within and adjacent to the development). As discussed above, the receptor value / sensitivity of Corallina is considered to be medium. Consequently, an impact of moderate adverse significance is predicted. IMPACT: Changes in Water Quality during Construction (C5) 10.5.26 During construction there may be run-off of rainwater and potential contaminants from sediment mobilisation and construction materials to the inter-tidal and sub-tidal zones (see Chapter 12). Contaminants could be associated with run-off from construction materials or from accidents and incidents, including spillages and leaks of fuels, oils and other chemicals. However it is assumed that, where relevant, discharges to the environment would be subject to the agreement of a discharge consent with the regulators and that potential impacts would be further reduced through the employment of good practice (e.g. no refuelling or vehicle maintenance on the foreshore, restriction of vehicle movements on the foreshore, no storage of fuels/chemicals on the foreshore, presence of fuel spill protection kits, training, etc.). There will also be an Accident and Incident Response Plan as part of the EMMP which will ensure prevention of spills and leaks and timely and efficient treatment in the unlikely event that an accident occurs. Based on this it is further assumed that these measures would limit the volumes and concentrations of substances discharged sufficiently to avoid any significant adverse environmental impact. As potential receptors include all identified marine ecology receptors (sub-tidal and intertidal habitats, all fish, marine mammals, Corallina and Sabellaria habitats), the value of the receptor must be considered to be high on a precautionary basis (for High Value Fish, marine mammals and Sabellaria reef). Due to the adoption of the controls and best practice described above, the impact magnitude is predicted to be very low. This would lead to the prediction of a minor adverse impact under normal circumstances. However, given the following factors, based on judgement, an impact of negligible significance is predicted: (a) the intermittent presence of the identified habitats, (b) the ability of mobile species (primarily fish) to move away from any potential events and (c) the distance from potential pollution sources. IMPACT: Construction Noise and Vibration (C6) 10.5.28 Several activities associated with the jettys construction are likely to generate noise and vibration. The following sources of noise and vibration could affect marine ecological receptors: 10.5.29 pile driving, vessel movement, and dredging.

10.5.27

In order to assess impacts from construction noise and vibration on marine ecological receptors, particularly fish, this assessment considers: levels and frequencies of noise and vibration from different types of piling activities; noise and vibration from different kinds of vessels;
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potential effects of construction noise and vibration on fish; off-shore noise environment in the vicinity of the proposed jetty; and noise propagation underwater.

Noise from Pile Driving 10.5.30 It has not yet been confirmed what method of piling would be employed, although a drill and drive or pre-drilled and socket approach is believed to be most likely (see Chapter 6). Given that the best practicable environmental approach would be adopted, rotary piling is likely to be the favoured approach, although percussive piling would probably be necessary to reach bedrock. Whichever technique is used, a soft start would be adopted to allow fish and marine mammals present to move away from the area prior to the commencement of full-scale piling. Although no specific values for the predicted noise levels for piling are available as yet, a number of previous studies have examined noise levels during construction for coastal developments requiring pile driving. For example, pile driving has been found to generate sound pressures significantly greater than 192dB re: 1Pa (Carlson et al. 2001; Ref 10.119) (Note: The SI unit for the measurement of sound in water is decibels relative (dB re:) to a reference pressure (1Pa)). The level of sound generated can vary in relation to different factors including the size of piles and the scale of the operation (Feist et al. 1992; Ref 10.120). Examples of the level and frequency of noise from hammer piling and vibro-piling are provided in Table 1 of Appendix 10-1, Volume 4. Studies by Nedwell et al. 2003 (Ref 10.121) measuring the noise levels generated by impact piling found variation in peak to peak pressure changed from 195dB at the pile driver, to approximately 152dB at a distance of about 240m, with a linear decline in sound pressure with distance (measured in metres). A study in Southampton Harbour found that at a distance of about 400m from the source of the sound, no signal of vibratory piling could be detected, as it was drowned by shipping noise (Ref. 10.121). This study also found no evidence that trout reacted to vibro-piling at even a close range of less than 50m. It is probable that the lack of behavioural responses was largely due to the sound energy from the piling being at frequencies at which the fish were relatively insensitive. In summary, it may be concluded that, in respect of the vibro-piling, at the range at which monitoring was conducted (417m), there was no discernible contribution from the piling above the background noise. It was noted when listening to the recordings that the vibro-piling could not be heard above the background noise caused by the movement of vessels. Vessel Noise due to Dredging Works and Other Movements 10.5.34 10.5.35 Dredging would be required for the berthing pocket at the end of the temporary jetty. Very large tankers and container ships can generate sound levels in the range 180190dB re: 1Pa at 1m which is similar to that generated by pile driving (Richardson et al. 1995; Ref 10.122), although for smaller vessels the potential impact is greatly reduced. Table 10.6 shows the sound frequencies and source levels produced by various vessels that may be required during the construction of the jetty. Richardson et al. (1995; Ref 10.122) provide a review of underwater noise in relation to marine dredging and construction activities. Generally, noise generated by dredgers depends on the type of vessel and the activity that is being undertaken. A study by Cefas (2003; Ref 10.123) of sound levels generated during aggregate dredging found
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10.5.31

10.5.32

10.5.33

10.5.36

that sound pressure levels were generally found to fall below the ambient noise level (100dB re 1~Pa) within 25km, however some dredging vessel activities were found to emit strong tonal sounds which were detectable to distances greater than 25km (Ref 10.123). Low frequency sounds were found to be generated by the dredger maintaining position. Higher frequency sounds (>2KHz) were generated by full dredging activities whilst maintaining position (Ref 10.123). Table 10.6 Vessel Sound Frequencies and Source Levels
Vessel Supply vessel Frequency (Hz) 20 1,000 Source Level (dB re 1 Pa @ 1m) 110 135 (without thrusters) 121 146 (with thrusters) Fishing boat Tug (pulling empty barge) Tug (pulling loaded barge) Twin diesel work boat 250 1,000 37 5,000 1,000 5,000 630 151 145 166 161 170 159

10.5.37

There would also be vessel movements associated with the delivery of materials during construction of the sub-tidal sections of the jetty. Large vessels can cause an aural and potentially a visual disturbance for fish and marine mammals. Generally, vessel noise can elicit avoidance or attraction responses in fish at very low or very high frequencies (Vella et al. 2001; Ref 10.124). Some behavioural changes have been observed in fish in relation to vessel noise, such as forming tighter formations, avoiding noise sources and increasing swimming speeds (McCauley 1994; Ref 10.125). Experimental studies have shown that avoidance occurs at 118dB within the range of 60 to 3,000Hz (Engas et al. 1995; Ref 10.126). There are already large vessels operating within the Severn Estuary / Bristol Channel (although most shipping occurs close to south Wales rather than in Bridgwater Bay). Fish and marine mammals are, therefore, likely to have become accustomed to a background level of underwater noise and vibration resulting from these activities to some extent. Fish and marine mammals also have the ability to move away from the sources of vessel noise. As the UK BAP species in the study area are all marine migrants moving to the Hinkley Point area from the Bristol Channel, Irish Sea and further afield, it would be expected that they would be frequently exposed to vessel noise during their lifetime. Young-of-the-year migratory Annex II species (Atlantic salmon, twaite shad, allis shad, river lamprey, sea lamprey) passing through the estuary, however, would be less acclimatised to vessel noise. Potential Effects of Construction Noise on Fish

10.5.38

10.5.39

In order to assess potential impacts of noise on fish an understanding of the hearing abilities of fish is required. Fish use three organs to detect sound; the lateral line, the ear and the swim bladder. The presence/absence and characteristics of these organs determine the hearing abilities of fish species, which can be considered to be hearing non-specialists, specialists or generalists (Bone et al. 1995 (Ref. 10.127) and Hastings & Popper, 2005 (Ref. 10.128)). Non-specialist fish are those with no swim bladder, e.g. lamprey, plaice, dab and sole. Clupeiformes (e.g. sprat, herring and shad) fall within the
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specialist category and as such can hear sounds over a far greater range than other species (e.g. Higgs et al. 2004; Ref. 10.129). Species of conservation importance which are considered to be hearing generalists, and are potentially present near the study area, include salmon and eel. 10.5.40 In addition to auditory problems, more severe impacts could include the perforation of swim bladders by high-energy underwater noises (Gisner 1998; Ref. 10.130) which can cause fish to sink, lose the ability to orientate themselves, or lead to internal bleeding and fatality. Nedwell states (Nedwell et al. 2007; Ref. 10.131) that provided animals are free to flee the noise, those within the area bounded by the 90 dBht level contour will strongly avoid the noise and that Animals within the area bounded by the 130 dBht level contour may suffer injury or permanent damage to hearing. The sound pressure levels which may cause harm to fish differs between species and is largely dependant on the presence or absence of a swimbladder. Underwater noise may also create disturbance to local fish populations, although fish are known to rapidly acclimatise to background noise. Nedwell et al. (2004; Ref. 10.121), measured audiograms of the hearing ranges of both noise level and frequency for some of the species of conservation importance known to be present within the Severn Estuary / Bristol Channel (see Table 10.7). Table 10.7 Hearing Frequency Range for Fish Species of Conservation Importance in the Area around Hinkley Point
Common Name Legislative Protection Hearing category Frequency range (Hz) Hearing threshold range over this frequency range (dB re 1 Pa) 95-130 Reference

10.5.41

Atlantic salmon

Annex II and V (Habitats Directive) UK BAP

Generalist

30-350

Nedwell et al. 2004

Shad American shad Shad Twaite shad River lamprey

Not present in Severn Estuary

Specialist

Up to 180000

140-185

Higgs et al. 2004

Annex II (Habitats Directive) UK BAP Annex II and V (Habitats Directive) UK BAP

Specialist

3000060000

190-198

APEM 2008

Nonspecialist

Unavailable

Unavailable

NA

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Common Name

Legislative Protection

Hearing category

Frequency range (Hz)

Hearing threshold range over this frequency range (dB re 1 Pa) Unavailable

Reference

Sea lamprey

Annex II (Habitats Directive) UK BAP

Nonspecialist

Unavailable

NA

Sea trout UK BAP Common or Atlantic sturgeon Annex IIa and IVa (Habitats Directive),UKBAP Bern Convention Appendix III, CITIES Appendix I, WCA Sch. 5. Eel Cod* Herring Dab Sole Plaice Whiting UK BAP UK BAP UK BAP UK BAP UK BAP UK BAP UK BAP

Generalist

30-350

95-130

Nedwell et al. 2004

Potential specialist

100 2000

Unavailable

Meyer & Popper 2002

Generalist Generalist Specialist Nonspecialist Nonspecialist Nonspecialist Generalist

10-300 10-500 20-4000 30-200 Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable

Unavailable 65-140/75110/95-120 75-135 90-105 Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable

Jerk et al. 1989 Nedwell et al. 2004 Nedwell et al. 2004 Nedwell et al. 2004 NA NA NA

Notes: Where data are lacking for specific species other data are presented where possible for other species of similar physiology. * for cod, different experiments identified different hearing threshold ranges, which are indicated in the table.

10.5.42

Of particular importance in the Severn Estuary are populations of migratory salmon and shad that may be migrating through the estuary during the works. Salmon are only
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sensitive to low frequency sound and do not react to frequencies above 380Hz. The lowest response threshold and presumably the frequency of greatest sensitivity are between 100 and 160Hz. Above this sensitivity rapidly declines. Vibratory piling produces sound within the range of frequencies detectable by salmon (Ref 10.121). 10.5.43 Shad are clupeids belonging to the herring family, and as such it could be considered that they are morphologically very similar. Studies on American shad Alosa sapidissima found shad could detect sound from 200Hz to over 180,000Hz, although the two regions of best sensitivity ranged from 200 to 800Hz and the other from 25 to 150kHz (Ref 10.129), with the lower bandwidth similar to that reported in herring by Blaxter et al., 1981 (Ref 10.132). It has been suggested there are significantly subtle differences in the ears of Clupeinae and Alosinae that may provide a mechanical explanation for why only the shads are able to detect ultrasound (Ref 10.129). Data on the response of allis shad to sound are limited, however data on the closely related twaite shad indicate noise levels of 158dB and a ramped frequency range of 100 to 500Hz caused fish to undertake avoidance reactions at 138dB, which was >40dB above ambient noise levels (Turnpenny et al. 1994; Ref. 10.133). Comparing the data on vessel noise generation (Table 10.6) with the hearing capabilities of the fish species (Table 10.7) it can be seen that supply vessels, fishing boats and tugs (pulling empty barge), can generate sound within the hearing frequency range of most species, the only exception being twaite shad. A tug pulling a loaded barge however can generate sound at much higher frequencies (1,000-5,000Hz) which lies outside the range of the majority of fish species (salmon, twaite shad, sea trout, eel, cod and dab). Similarly the frequency of sound generated by a twin diesel work boat is outside the hearing range of these species. For fish species to hear the vessels and demonstrate an avoidance reaction, both the frequency and noise level indicated in Table 10.6 would need to be within the range of a particular species. However, attenuation of sound means that as distance from the vessel increases, noise levels would reach values less than those indicated to be source noise levels in Table 10.6 (e.g. a tug pulling an empty barge has a source level of 145166dB re 1 Pa at 1m, but at a greater distance the noise level may be detectable by, for example, salmon (upper hearing threshold of 130dB re 1 Pa)). The impact of vessel noise would be expected to be smaller than that associated with pile driving, even though vessel noise may be of a more continuous nature. While it might be anticipated that there could be a greater effect due to the combination of vessel plus piling noise, it is considered unlikely that the significance of this cumulative effect would be any greater than that for piling alone. This is again due to the fact that any fish within the zone of influence would no longer be present in the affected area or would avoid it while noise levels were raised. Dredging would only be undertaken for around four weeks during the construction phase and mobile organisms can evade the noise source if required. Consequently, noise impacts associated with dredging are not expected to affect mobile marine ecology receptors. Offshore Noise Environment in the Vicinity of the Proposed Jetty 10.5.49 The inter-tidal area in the vicinity of the proposed jetty location consists of a rough rocky wave-cut platform which is subject to intense wave action over a high tidal range, with substantial boulder, cobble, shingle and sediment transport. This habitat is, therefore,
Hinkley Point C Preliminary Works Temporary Jetty Development 10 - 54 Environmental Statement November 2010

10.5.44

10.5.45

10.5.46

10.5.47

10.5.48

considered unsuitable for fish spawning or as a nursery area. It is likely that any fish present would be larger and stronger and hence able to move independently of tidal activity and currents to avoid noisy activities. 10.5.50 The shoreline to the west of Hinkley Point is predominantly rocky and exposed to extreme wave action and it is likely that shore and surf noise will be a major contributor to ambient noise in these coastal waters. The ambient noise will mostly comprise impact noise as the wave hits the rocks, spray noise as the water falls back onto the sea, bubble oscillation noise and, depending on wave energy, transport of boulders and cobbles across the wave cut platform and some shingle and sediment transport noise. The nature of the inter-tidal zone at Hinkley Point, therefore, maintains high ambient noise levels (see Table 2, Appendix 10-1, Volume 4 for a comparison of ambient noise levels and frequencies from different sources in the marine and coastal environment). Noise Propagation Underwater 10.5.51 Because sound can interact strongly with the seabed, the sediment types and sea bed roughness can affect propagation loss. Similarly, waves on the surface can also affect propagation loss by scattering the sound interacting with the surface rather than just reflecting it. Suspended sediments or bubbles can also cause additional propagation loss. Because of reflection at the surface of the sea and at the sea bed, sound can travel between a source and receiver by a multitude of paths. This has the effect of dispersing the arrived signal in time. This effect is particularly important for wideband impulsive sounds such as explosions, pile driving or seismic exploration air guns. At high frequencies (>10kHz) increasing absorption prevents sound propagating over great distances so the ambient noise is dominated by local sound sources such as surf. In coastal waters, the water is too shallow to support long range propagation of very low frequencies, so the ambient noise at these frequencies will generally be lower in shallow water. Inter-tidal surveys undertaken c.2km east of the proposed jetty location have recorded the presence of a number of fish species including the Annex 1 species, European eel and the UK BAP species: cod, herring, plaice, sole and whiting (APEM 2010b; Ref 10.134). The inter-tidal surveys sampled soft shore habitats within Bridgwater Bay and, while the results provide some indication of the species present within the area, the proposed jetty is located in an area of rocky and turbulent inter-tidal conditions (see above) which is likely to be less attractive for these fish. Low Value Fish (Pile Driving) 10.5.55 There could be fish present, although in low numbers, in the vicinity of piling for the jetty and they could be directly affected by the noise and vibration associated with piling. The receptor value in this case is considered to be low. The magnitude of the impact is also predicted to be low due to (a) the existing noisy inter-tidal environment, (b) the fact that at any one time only a very small proportion of the overall population of any one fish species would be likely to be within close proximity to the piling works, (c) the adoption of soft start (a gradual increase in noise levels) and (d) the ability of larger fish to swim away. The impact significance is therefore predicted to be negligible.

10.5.52

10.5.53

10.5.54

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High Value Fish and Marine Mammals (Pile Driving) 10.5.56 For High Value Fish within the range of the works it is certain that an effect would occur but that, based on hearing range and sensitivity, only species such as herring would be likely to be sensitive to the generated noise levels. For such species, within the immediate vicinity of the piling it would be expected that some disturbance would occur and, potentially, if fish were within very close proximity to the piling (i.e. within a couple of metres) physical damage could occur. However, given the adoption of a soft-start and that at any one time only a very small percentage of the overall population of any one fish species would be likely to be within close proximity to the piling works, the potential magnitude of the impact would be low. Consequently, mainly considering potential impacts on herring and individual fish close to the noise source at the commencement of pile driving, it is assessed that there would be an impact of minor adverse significance. Once pile driving is initiated then the potential for physical damage effectively ceases as any fish within the zone of influence (ensonification) would move out of the area to avoid the increase in noise levels / pressure. Section 5 of the advice given under Regulation 33(2)(a) of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations (Ref. 10.76) identifies that shad are considered sensitive to vibration which can arise from noisy activities. High frequency vibration (70300Khtz) can be barrier to migration affecting movement both up and downstream and preventing fish reaching spawning areas. There is still considerable uncertainty about the effects of piling noise on migratory fish species, although the available data suggests that levels sufficient to cause serious injury or death are only likely to occur at distances of less than 5m from the source, and at >400m it is unlikely that salmon or trout would react at all to vibratory piling. Based on salmonid and clupeid hearing it can be anticipated that migratory fish in the vicinity of piling activities would be expected to show avoidance behaviour to noise levels above 90dB, depending on the intensity of background noise. Anadromous species migrating seaward are unlikely to be prevented from migrating by noise impacts as the size of seaward migrating salmon (smolts), shads and lamprey means that their swimming speeds are typically lower than tidal stream velocities. The movements of juveniles of anadromous species will thus be determined by tidal transport, which means that individuals would tend to pass the area of disturbance fairly rapidly. In the case of salmon smolts, the utilisation of the fastest flowing portion of the estuary would ensure animals are rapidly conveyed past any area subject to disturbance impacts. The estuary is a known migratory route and, given the designated status and importance of the migratory fish populations, the disturbance and potential physical impact of piling could be considered to be an impact of moderate adverse significance. However, given the estuary is approximately 20km wide at the point of disturbance and that it is unlikely that elevated noise levels that would lead to avoidance would extend beyond 400m, there would be sufficient space for any displaced migratory fish to continue migration. Based on the relatively small area of the estuary that would be impacted during the construction and piling phase this impact is, therefore, predicted to be of minor adverse significance. Although marine mammals are present in the Severn Estuary, they are not commonly observed and unlikely to be present on a regular basis in the vicinity of Hinkley Point; for the purpose of this assessment they have been assumed to be intermittently present. The receptor value in this case is considered to be high, as it includes Annex II species
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10.5.57

10.5.58

10.5.59

10.5.60

10.5.61

of international importance. Impacts are predicted to be direct and temporary. However, due to the limited presence of marine mammals, the adoption of a soft-start approach and their ability to avoid areas of disturbance, the magnitude of the impact is assessed to be very low. Consequently, it is predicted that an impact of minor adverse significance would arise for marine mammals. Low Value Fish (Vessel Movements and Dredging) 10.5.62 Fish would be present in the vicinity of dredging for the jetty and, therefore, would be directly affected by the noise and vibration associated with the operation of the dredger, which would be temporary. As described above, the receptor value is considered to be low; while the magnitude of the impact is predicted to be very low (i.e. it is expected that the receptors would experience little or no degradation, as they are generally habituated to vessel noise, and disturbance is likely to be within the range of natural variability and limited to areas within and adjacent to the development). The impact significance is therefore assessed as negligible. High Value Fish (Vessel Movements and Dredging) 10.5.63 High Value Fish and marine mammals could similarly be affected by the temporary noise and vibration associated with vessel movements and dredging. However, the magnitude of these impacts is predicted to be very low, as described above. Consequently, because the value of the receptor is high, an impact of minor adverse significance is predicted. IMPACT: Light Disturbance during Construction (C7) 10.5.64 The construction works may require that night time working is undertaken, in which case powerful artificial lighting would be needed. The effect of artificial light has been considered in relation to fish, marine mammals and Corallina. Light is known to have a strong influence on fish behaviour, with photoperiod and artificial manipulation of this acting as an environmental cue in relation to reproduction, and also as a factor determining migration. Changes in natural reproductive development rates as a result of artificial light regimes have been demonstrated for a range of fish species. However, this has generally been where the light environment experienced by fish is overwhelmingly determined by that artificial source (e.g. in aquaria, laboratories or fish farm facilities). Light has also been demonstrated to influence fish migration, with species such as salmon and sea trout migrating predominantly at night rather than day. Similarly, various species have been demonstrated to either be attracted to or repelled by light, with the majority being repelled (Ref 10.135). Low Value Fish (Light Disturbance) 10.5.66 Fish would be present in the vicinity of the jetty and, therefore, could be directly affect by light spill for the duration of the construction phase. The value of these fish species is considered to be low. Within the sub-tidal areas, the turbidity of the water would attenuate light rapidly and it is anticipated that fish would move away from illuminated areas during the limited period of jetty construction. The magnitude of the impact is therefore predicted to be very low and the significance of this impact is assessed as negligible.

10.5.65

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High Value Fish and Marine Mammals (Light Disturbance) 10.5.67 Lighting has the potential to affect diadromous fish, as they would be present at several stages (seasonally) during the construction period (due to extend over a period up to 21 months). A small proportion of the population of non-diadromous species present within the estuary could also be affected and the potential exists for lighting to affect marine mammals as they have been assumed to be present intermittently. However, it is anticipated High Value Fish and/or marine mammals would avoid and/or leave illuminated areas, which would be restricted to the area immediately surrounding the jetty (as the lighting design would minimise light spillage). Within the zone of influence immediately around the jetty, light is also expected to attenuate rapidly in the turbid waters of the estuary and, overall, the magnitude of the impact is predicted to be very low. The receptor value in this case is considered to be high. Consequently, it is assessed that a minor adverse impact would arise. Corallina 10.5.68 Corallina in the vicinity of the jetty construction works could be illuminated by artificial lighting for up to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, given that normal tidal events would result in periods of subdued illumination, its natural tolerance of varying light regimes and the relatively short construction period, no impact is predicted to occur. c) Impacts during Operation 10.5.69 Potential impacts during the operation of the jetty development are identified below: 10.5.70 Code O1: temporary gain of habitat created by the presence of underwater structures; Code O2: disturbance due to maintenance dredging; Code O3: noise and vibration; Code O4: artificial light disturbance; and Code O5: changes to water quality potentially associated with accidents and incidents.

The temporary jetty is expected to be in operation for approximately eight years. The main activities during operation of the jetty would be the arrival and departure of vessels, unloading and conveying of aggregates, cement and other construction materials, and occasional maintenance dredging of the berthing pocket. A more detailed description is presented in Chapter 6. No habitat loss, additional to that resulting from the construction phase is predicted from the operation of the jetty. IMPACT: Temporary Habitat Gain (O1)

10.5.71

10.5.72

The presence of jetty piles provides further hard structures which potentially could be colonised by organisms, essentially increasing the availability of hard substrate habitat. Sabellaria

10.5.73

The jetty piles would provide a new hard structure which potentially could be colonised by Sabellaria and other species during its lifetime. However, the piles are considered be too far away from existing areas of Sabellaria reef (>500m distance) for large colonies to

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form on the submerged piles. For other species, the habitat gain in relation to available inter-tidal rocky shore habitat would be negligible. 10.5.74 The value of Sabellaria is considered to be high, as it is an Annex I Habitat of international importance, and the magnitude of the impact is predicted to be very low and temporary. Consequently, it is assessed that a minor beneficial impact could arise, although this is considered to be unlikely. IMPACT: Physical Disturbance (O2) 10.5.75 It is possible that maintenance dredging would be required at the berthing pocket to ensure a minimum depth of 3m, with a requirement to over dredge to a depth of 3.5m. Dredging is likely to locally mobilise sediments and, potentially, contaminants, and resuspend particulates in the water column (see Chapter 12). Evidence suggests that local changes due to such activities can result in the deposition of layers of sediment of >5cm over underlying substrates (Wilber et al. 2005; Ref 10.136). Low Value Fish (Maintenance Dredging) 10.5.76 Fish would be present in the vicinity of maintenance dredging for the jetty and, therefore, it is likely that the receptor would be temporarily impacted. The receptor value is considered to be low and overall the magnitude of the impact is predicted to be very low (i.e. it is expected that the receptors would experience little or no degradation and disturbance is likely to be within the range of natural variability and limited to areas within and adjacent to the development). The impact significance is therefore assessed as negligible. High Value Fish and Marine Mammals (Maintenance Dredging) 10.5.77 Maintenance dredging could affect diadromous fish present in the study area during certain times of year, non-diadromous fish as a small proportion of the population of any of these species could be present at any time, as well as marine mammals that have been assumed to be present intermittently. However, fish and marine mammals would be able to avoid areas of physical disturbance (and turbid areas), which would only be temporary, short-term (up to one week per dredging run) and localised. Overall the magnitude of the impact is predicted to be very low (i.e. these receptors would experience little or no degradation and disturbance is likely to be within the range of natural variability and limited to areas within and adjacent to the development). The receptor value is, however, considered to be high, as it includes Annex II species of international importance and UK BAP species of national importance. Consequently, it is assessed that the significance of this impact would be minor adverse. Sabellaria 10.5.78 Given the proposed location for the jetty, there are no Sabellaria present within 500m. Hence an impact on this receptor is considered to be highly unlikely. The receptor value of Sabellaria is high; however given the lack of Sabellaria in close proximity to the jetty, no impact is predicted. IMPACT: Noise and Vibration (O3) 10.5.79 Maintenance dredging would produce noise that potentially could impact marine ecological receptors.

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10.5.80

In addition, vibration resulting from the operation of conveyor drive units mounted on the jetty, and possibly from the moving conveyor belt itself, has the potential to cause the vibration of the jetty infrastructure (e.g. its piles) which could radiate to the marine environment and bedrock. However, the magnitude of vibration is likely to be very low, as the conveyor would be fitted with integral vibration isolation mounts. For the purpose of this assessment, it has been assumed that fish and marine mammals would be habituated to the noise associated with vessel movements. Low Value Fish

10.5.81

10.5.82

Fish would be present in the vicinity of the berthing pocket during maintenance dredging and, therefore, could be impacted by noise and vibration. The receptor value in this case is considered to be low. Impacts are predicted to be direct, short-term (up to one week per dredging event) and temporary. Disturbance is likely to be within the range of natural variability and located within areas immediately adjacent to the development. Since larger fish could swim away from the source of any noise and vibration, the magnitude of the impact is assessed as very low and the impact significance is assessed as negligible. High Value Fish and Marine Mammals

10.5.83

As described above, noise could affect diadromous fish present in the study area at certain times of year and non-diadromous fish, as a small proportion of the population of these species, that could be present at any time, as well as marine mammals that have been assumed to be present intermittently. However this impact is expected to be limited because diadromous fish would only be affected seasonally and marine mammals are uncommon near the site of the proposed works. These species could move away from the source of the noise. Therefore, overall, the magnitude of the impact is predicted to be very low (i.e. these receptors would experience little or no degradation and disturbance within the range of natural variability and limited to areas within and adjacent to the development). Vibration could also affect diadromous and non-diadromous fish and marine mammals when they are present in the study area. However, larger fish would be able to move away from the source of the vibration. Therefore, overall, the magnitude of the impact is predicted to be very low (particularly given that the existing environment is subject to wave and tidal movements). Application of the approach described in Chapter 5 would result in an impact assessment of minor significance (based on the presence of receptors of High value). However, given that it is predicted that the receptor would experience little or no degradation, the fact that disturbance is likely to be within the range of natural variability and the ability of larger fish to swim away from the vibration, judgement has been used to determine that the impact significance would be negligible. IMPACT: Light Disturbance (O4)

10.5.84

10.5.85

10.5.86

The operation of the temporary jetty has the potential to cause light disturbance to organisms (assuming that unloading works could occur at any time within any 24 hour period, see Chapter 6). However, although there is the potential for operational lights to be on at any time over a 24 hour period, such events are likely to be limited in nature and the jetty operational lighting is designed specifically to prevent light spill.

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10.5.87

Organisms present on the foreshore are expected to be tolerant of exposure to variations of light levels due to tidal movements occurring at different times of the day and changing lighting conditions. The proposed jetty would also result in increased shading of the shore. This has the potential to impact algal species, reducing the amount of light available for primary production, thus limiting growth and in extreme cases causing mortality. Low Value Fish

10.5.88

10.5.89

Fish would be present in the vicinity of the jetty; however, within sub-tidal areas, the turbidity of the water is expected to attenuate light rapidly. It is possible that these receptors would be impacted during periods of illumination, although it is anticipated that fish would move away from illuminated areas. The value of these fish species is low. Due to the rapid attenuation of light with depth in the turbid waters, the fact that the disturbance would be temporary (jetty lighting only used during night-time offloading), would be likely to be within the range of natural variability (taking into consideration normal tidal events) and limited to areas within and adjacent to the development, the magnitude of the impact is predicted to be very low. The impact significance is therefore assessed to be negligible. High Value Fish and Marine Mammals

10.5.90

Diadromous fish would only be present at certain times of year and, therefore, would only coincide with offloading operations on a limited number of occasions during the eight year operational life of the jetty. It has been assumed that non-diadromous fish and marine mammals would be present intermittently. It has also been assumed that diadromous and non-diadromous fish (which are UK BAP species) and marine mammals would avoid and/or leave illuminated areas, during periods of illumination. The receptor value in this case is high. Due to the temporary nature of the impact, the seasonal presence and movement of diadromous fish, the predicted potential presence of a small proportion of the population of any non-diadromous fish, the fact that marine mammals are only likely to be present intermittently, and the rapid attenuation of light with depth in the turbid waters, the magnitude of the impact is predicted to be very low. Consequently, the significance of this impact is assessed as minor adverse. Corallina

10.5.91

Corallina is present on the foreshore near the areas of proposed jetty operation and the likelihood of the receptor being impacted by artificial lighting or shading is possible. The receptor value Corallina is considered to be medium as, although it is not protected, it provides a habitat for many other organisms and its presence increases foreshore biodiversity. Only isolated areas of Corallina would be affected by the intermittent artificial light or shading and the effect on Corallina growth and survival is expected to be minimal. Overall, the magnitude of the impact is predicted to be very low. Application of the approach described in Chapter 5 would result in this impact being assessed as of minor significance. However, because the jetty design is of an open nature, shading is likely to be limited. In addition, jetty illumination would be restricted to irregular periods of offloading and a minimal light spill strategy would be adopted. As a result, it is expected that Corallina would experience little or no degradation and disturbance would be limited to areas within and immediately adjacent to the development. Consequently, the impact significance is assessed as negligible.

10.5.92

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IMPACT: Changes to Water Quality (O5) 10.5.93 Potential changes in water quality due to suspended sediment are discussed above with respect to the physical disturbance associated with maintenance dredging (O2). In addition, during the operational phase there may be run-off of rainwater and potential contaminants from the jetty bridge or from the on-site storage facility to the inter-tidal and sub-tidal zones (potentially arising from leaks of fuels and oils or aggregate spills) or contaminant mobilisation (see Chapter 12). It is assumed that, where relevant, discharges to the environment would be subject to agreement of discharge consent with the regulators and that potential impacts would be further reduced through the employment of good practice (e.g. careful storage of fuels/chemicals, appropriate bunding/containment, fuel spill protection kits, training, etc.). An Accident and Incident Response Plan will be implemented as part of the EMMP (see Appendix 26-1, Volume 4) to ensure prevention of spills and leaks and timely and efficient treatment in the unlikely event that an accident occurs. Based on the above measures it is assessed that volumes and concentrations of potential pollutants would be controlled sufficiently to avoid any significant adverse environmental impact. As potential receptors include all identified marine ecology receptors (sub-tidal and inter-tidal habitats, all fish, marine mammals, Corallina and Sabellaria habitats), the value of the receptor is considered to be high on a precautionary basis (for diadromous fish, non-diadromous fish which are UK BAP species, marine mammals and Sabellaria reef). Due to the adoption of the above controls and best practice, the impact magnitude is predicted to be very low. However, due to (a) the intermittent presence of the identified habitats, (b) the ability of mobile species (primarily fish) to move away from any potential events and (c) the distance from potential pollution sources, using professional judgement, any impacts are assessed to be of negligible significance. d) Impacts during Dismantling and Restoration 10.5.95 Potential impacts during the dismantling of the jetty development and restoration of the site are identified below: Code D1: temporary and permanent loss of sensitive marine receptors; Code D2: physical disturbance of marine receptors due to the removal of each jetty upright and access for vehicles and plant, the delivery of materials and the workforce within inter-tidal zone; Code D3: water quality impacts due to run-off from the jetty and its constituent materials during dismantling and potentially associated with accidents and incidents.

10.5.94

IMPACT: Temporary and Permanent Loss of Sensitive Marine Receptors (D1) 10.5.96 Details of the jetty developments dismantling and site restoration are provided in Chapter 6. The location of the jetty in relation to the foreshore is indicated in Figures 10-4 and 10-5, Volume 3. Over and above the assumptions made in the project description, the following assumptions are used in this assessment: certain piles could have been located within longshore Corallina channels or on other areas of Corallina during the construction and operation of the jetty; and construction plant would require access to the foreshore during dismantling and site restoration but routes for plant movement would be restricted to certain areas of the foreshore to limit disturbance and avoid the more important cross-shore features..
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Sabellaria 10.5.97 The location of the jetty in relation to Sabellaria is set out in Figure 10-4, Volume 3. It can be seen that there are no areas of inter-tidal or sub-tidal Sabellaria in close proximity to the proposed jetty location. The nearest area of Sabellaria is a small section of inter-tidal Sabellaria reef which is >500m from the proposed jetty location. As such, no impacts are predicted on this receptor associated with direct habitat loss. Corallina 10.5.98 Although the more important cross-shore features would have been avoided, areas of Corallina are present within the longshore channels on the foreshore near the areas of proposed jetty dismantling/restoration. The receptor value in this case is considered to be medium (as described above). The dismantling and removal of the piles has the potential to damage channels that maintain Corallina and to damage or change the measures put in place to maintain water flow across the foreshore. However, as for construction, the magnitude of the impact is predicted to be very low. Hence, the significance of this impact is predicted to be minor adverse for this receptor. IMPACT: Physical Disturbance (D2) 10.5.99 The primary potential impact associated with the jettys dismantling and site restoration works would be the physical disturbance of habitats within the zone of influence. There are several impacts that could be attributable to physical disturbance, in addition to loss or modification of habitat which can be caused by the movement and operation of plant, including sediment re-suspension, smothering and abrasion. Low Value Fish 10.5.100 Fish are likely to be present in the sub-tidal zone during the dismantling/restoration phase. Activities would be limited during this phase to areas immediately adjacent to the jetty and would comprise the cutting of the piles close to rock head and removal to a barge using an on-board crane. The receptor value is considered to be low. The impact magnitude, however, is assessed as being very low on the basis that the zone of influence would be small, the disturbance would be temporary and it is likely that fish would avoid these areas. The impact significance is therefore assessed to be negligible. High Value Fish and Marine Mammals 10.5.101 Given that diadromous fish may be present in the study are during certain times of year, a small proportion of the population of any non-diadromous fish could be present at any time and that marine mammals could be present intermittently, they could be affected by the physical disturbance associated with the dismantling/restoration works. As before, the receptor value is considered to be high. However, fish and marine mammals would be able to avoid areas of physical disturbance and, as described above, it is expected that only a very small area of sub-tidal habitat would be affected. Overall the magnitude of the impact is predicted to be very low (i.e. it is expected that these receptors would experience little or no degradation and disturbance is likely to be within the range of natural variability and limited to areas within and adjacent to the development). Consequently, the significance of this impact is assessed as minor adverse.

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Sabellaria 10.5.102 It is noted that the inter-tidal Sabellaria present on the lower foreshore is >500m from the jetty, which is judged as being too distant to be at risk of direct impact (see Figure 10-4, Volume 3). Therefore, no impact is expected. Corallina 10.5.103 Although the more important cross-shore features would be avoided, areas of Corallina within the longshore channels would be subject to the movement of plant and personnel along the foreshore for dismantling/restoration of the jetty. This is likely to create disturbance to the longshore Corallina channels close to the jetty. However, even if the dismantling works were to extend further than 20m from the alignment of the jetty itself, this suggests that in total an area of less than 4% of Corallina biotope would be present in the footprint of the works. This represents a relatively small area and indicates that even if all of the Corallina biotope within this area were disturbed, which is highly unlikely, this change would be of a low magnitude. The receptor value is medium and, hence, the significance of this impact is predicted to be minor adverse. IMPACT: Changes in Water Quality (D3) 10.5.104 As identified in the construction and operational phases (see C5 and O5), the dismantling and removal of the jetty development has the potential to result in run-off of rainwater and potential contaminants from plant, materials and sediment mobilisation to the inter-tidal and sub-tidal zones (see Chapter 12). Contaminants could potentially be associated with spills and leaks of fuels, oils and other chemicals. However, as for the operational phase, it is assumed that (where relevant) discharges to the environment would be subject to the agreement of discharge consent with the regulators and water quality protection measures in accordance with best practice (e.g. careful storage of fuels/chemicals, appropriate bunding/containment, fuel spill protection kits, training, etc.). An Accident and Incident Response Plan would be implemented to ensure prevention of spills and leaks and timely and efficient treatment in the unlikely event that an accident occurs. 10.5.105 Based on this it is further assumed that these measures would limit the volumes and concentrations of potential pollutants sufficiently to avoid any significant adverse environmental impact. As potential receptors include all identified marine ecology receptors (sub-tidal and inter-tidal habitats, all fish, marine mammals, Corallina and Sabellaria habitats), as before, the value of the receptor is considered to be high on a precautionary basis (for diadromous fish, non-diadromous fish which are UKBAP species, marine mammals and Sabellaria reef). Due to the adoption of the above controls and best practice, the impact magnitude is assessed as very low. However, due to (a) the intermittent presence of the identified habitats, (b) the ability of mobile species (primarily fish) to move away from any potential events and (c) the distance from potential pollution sources, using professional judgement, any impacts are predicted to be of negligible significance. e) Impacts during Removal and Reinstatement 10.5.106 Should the DCO application for the Hinkley Point C Project be not granted, the removal of the jettys infrastructure and reinstatement of the site would involve the same processes as required for the jettys dismantling and site restoration. Accordingly, the same impacts would occur during the jettys removal and reinstatement phase as
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assessed for the jettys dismantling and restoration phase. The impact assessments are not repeated here, but are identified and summarised in Table 10.8.

10.6

Mitigation
a) Introduction

10.6.1

The design of the temporary jetty, particularly its location and structure, has been developed with specific regard to minimising impacts on the Bristol Channel foreshore and its associated marine ecological receptors. In particular, the following elements have been designed to minimise impacts: tubular steel piled open jetty design rather than a mass structure, ensuring minimum footprint in the inter-tidal area and foreshore; a bridge-unit structure, ensuring fast and minimal construction/assembly requirements; and a completely enclosed cement delivery system and an enclosed aggregate conveyor system.

10.6.2

These design elements (and the commitment to use standard good construction working practices (see Chapters 9 and 12 for further details)) have been have been adopted in the project. On this basis, only one impact (cross-shore and longshore drainage patterns potentially affecting Corallina, C3) was assessed as being of greater than minor or negligible significance (i.e. moderate adverse). In recognition of this, and the sensitivity of the foreshore and its protected status, a number of generic precautionary measures would be implemented to ensure protection of marine ecological receptors. These are discussed below for the jetty construction phase. A summary of all impacts identified in Section 10.5 is provided in Section 10.8, Table 10.8. Protective measures are also summarised in Table 10.8. b) Mitigation Measures during Construction

10.6.3

10.6.4

Since the marine environment within which the application site lies is considered to be of high value, being part of the designated SAC, SPA, Ramsar site and SSSI, and since the complex marine ecosystem, habitats and individual marine flora and fauna that characterise the study area can be particularly sensitive receptors, care has been taken to design the jetty such that it would have the least possible impact on the foreshore and the marine environment. Good working practices throughout the jetty construction and the implementation of the mitigation described in Chapters 9 and 12 would also provide robust mitigation for the marine environment. The EMMP for the jetty (see Appendix 261, Volume 4) addresses mitigation measures which would protect the marine environment and the EMMP is designed to ensure implementation of these mitigation measures. The EMMP would also ensure that if any adverse effects are identified during monitoring or inspections, there would be appropriate corrective actions implemented to rectify these effects and prevent them from happening in the future. Although studies to date have indicated an absence of residential populations of marine mammals near Hinkley Point, it does not preclude the presence of individuals migrating through the area. Likewise, protected fish species that may be sensitive to high sound levels, such as salmonids, would be present in the Hinkley Point area (although all available data from long term studies would suggest that their occurrence is rare). Therefore, as described above, following recently revised guidance from the

10.6.5

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JNCC and subsequent discussions with Natural England, EDF Energy is establishing underwater acoustic monitoring local to the site. 10.6.6 Protective measures pertaining to the marine environment considering both design and good practices include, but would not be limited to the following: adherence of all offshore works and operations to the requirements of the OSPAR Convention (last updated 01/12/08); compliance with the conditions of all discharge consents, including quantity, quality, location of discharge and any temporal requirements (such as freshwater discharges or discharges from testing of the cooling water system, only at high tide), as discussed in Chapter 12; adherence to a Site Waste Management Plan which specifies methods for containment, collection and disposal of all dredged materials, drill cuttings and all other construction waste materials, as well as management and disposal of all domestic waste; appropriate construction techniques and methods and appropriate working practices; implementation of mitigation measures specified in other chapters, such as Chapter 9 (Coastal Hydrodynamics and Geomorphology), Chapter 12 ( Water Quality) and Chapter 16 (Geology and Contaminated Land); designation of protective no-go areas, and associated buffer zones, around all identified sensitive receptors such as protected habitats on the foreshore, inter-tidal and sub-tidal zones; delimiting buffer zones around construction and access sites in foreshore areas, within which all materials laydown, vehicle, equipment and workforce activities must be contained; prohibition of construction waste and materials lay-down and storage in the intertidal and foreshore areas; ensuring that all material movement across the inter-tidal area is controlled, to regulate use and recovery of materials providing training for the construction workforce in relation to the value and sensitivity of the marine environment and marine ecological receptors; management of risk of accidents occurring with the potential to result in impacts on water quality through implementation of the best practice measures; (In addition, there will be an Accident and Incident Response Plan as part of the EMMP which will prescribe actions to be taken in order to contain, control and manage pollution in the unlikely event of a spillage or other incident); providing training for the construction workforce on accident and incident response and cleanup procedures, particularly in relation to the marine environment; appointment of personnel whose responsibilities are to carry out inspections and to implement the mitigation measures for the development; documentation to maintain a record of the implementation of mitigation measures; implementation of a Monitoring Programme, including monitoring of Corallina; and ongoing updating of the mitigation plan and monitoring programme for the marine environment as part of the overall EMMP for the site.

10.6.7

In addition to the generic good practices above, specific protective measures related to potential impacts are proposed as part of the project design/implementation and are described below. Only one impact was identified as greater than minor significance prior to mitigation (impact C3 changes to drainage patterns in relation to Corallina). Specific mitigation measures for this impact are proposed in addition to the protective measures discussed.
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Physical Disturbance - Construction Measure 10.6.8 This measure involves a series of actions (to be implemented as applicable depending on the jetty development activity involved) designed to protect Corallina habitat and the species associated with it from physical disturbance. As Corallina is considered to be the most important inter-tidal feature potentially affected by the construction of the jetty, protection of this receptor has been given priority. Both construction of the jetty and access of vehicles and plant for construction activities could potentially cause impacts on areas of Corallina turf due to physical disturbance (impact code C2). Since these habitats occur in channels through the rocky inter-tidal zone, any disruption to the physical structure of the rocks and channels, blockages and changes to the run-off and surface water flows through these channels and driving over areas of Corallina, could damage Corallina swards. A narrow working corridor would be established, maintained and enforced across the inter-tidal areas for construction of the jetty. This may comprise: 10.6.11 use of appropriate geotextiles to minimise damage to inter-tidal habitats; a working corridor to be as narrow as possible; and a fenced area to ensure that individuals and plant remain within agreed working corridor.

10.6.9

10.6.10

The access will be designed to avoid areas of Corallina where possible, especially areas of Corallina run-offs. If channels need to be crossed, however, they are narrow enough to enable positioning a track over the rock channels containing Corallina turf and ensuring measures are taken to limit the likelihood of channel blockage. The use of bridging units for jetty construction would prevent the use of micrositing to avoid areas of Corallina at the construction stage. Thus, if piles are found to be located on or immediately adjacent to areas of Corallina or the channels that support them, mitigation measures would be put in place to ensure that the drainage environment of the habitat is not compromised by piling activities or that the working areas of associated equipment and plant. It is likely that a tailor-made solution would be required for each location where Corallina channel was adversely affected. The solution would need to be based on knowledge of the drainage characteristics of the channel in question, informed by a study, particularly of ebb tidal drainage of the affected channels and their connectivity to adjacent channels. Once this drainage detail is understood, a number of possible solutions could be invoked, including: if a pile is to be located within a channel, blocking it, then diverting the channel, while minimising damage to any other features of value, around the pile to ensure continuity of flow would be required; if a pile location opened up a crack or gully previously not present, then the creation of blockage structures across the channel might be required to maintain ponded seawater at low tide to support Corallina; any modification of drainage channel connectivity would have to be very carefully planned and managed to ensure (a) no interruption of existing channel drainage, (b) existing connectivity between channels was maintained, (c) appropriate materials were used in any mitigation works and (d) works were limited to manual activities to prevent unnecessary physical disturbance to the immediate environment; and any materials used would need to be able to withstand the rigours of a harsh tidal environment. Any measures would also need to be of low profile (i.e. within profile of existing channel) to minimise any hydrodynamic effects and potential changes to
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10.6.12

Hinkley Point C Preliminary Works Temporary Jetty Development

sediment transport (i.e. they should not encourage additional deposition of materials into gullies). 10.6.13 Damage to channel structure and connectivity potentially caused by deposition of materials, placement of construction works and jetty and impacts caused by plant movement would have a negative impact on Corallina which is dependent on the foreshore channel network (impact code C3). The potential for damage would be reduced by implementation of the measures described above. Construction Noise and Vibration 10.6.14 Although impacts from piling, dredging and vessel movements were considered to have no significant impacts on marine fauna, a number of good practice measures would be considered and, where appropriate, adopted to minimise any adverse effects. These measures would include, but would not be limited to, the following: Appropriate engineering, using the correct specification of piles and pile driver for the job. This would ensure maximum efficiency and minimum energy to achieve pile penetration. The piling method used would depend on substrate conditions and would be determined by the construction contractor. However, rotary and vibro-piling techniques would be considered where appropriate. A soft-start approach to piling would be adopted. Piling would commence at low energy levels and building up slowly to full impact force, in principle reducing the risk of injury to species by giving them time to flee the area.

c) Mitigation Measures during Operation 10.6.15 No impacts of greater than minor adverse significance have been identified for the operational phase of the jetty development and, therefore, no specific mitigation measures are required. As for the construction phase, however, a number of generic protective measures would be implemented. This would include an EMMP, specific measures for protecting the marine environment and measures to ensure that mitigation is implemented (including those measures outlined above for the construction phase, as appropriate) in a timely fashion. An additional element particular to this phase is indicated below: restrict the amount and duration of maintenance activities to ensure activities meet their objectives with the minimum disturbance.

10.6.16

d) Mitigation Measures during Dismantling and Restoration 10.6.17 Where appropriate, the same protective measures as described above for the construction phase would also be implemented during the dismantling and restoration phase of the jetty development. Specific protective measures with respect to the potential for physical disturbance to affect Corallina are discussed below. Physical Disturbance - Construction Measures 10.6.18 This measure involves a series of actions (to be implemented as applicable depending on the dismantling/restoration activity involved) designed to protect Corallina turf habitat and the species associated with it.

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10.6.19

Both dismantling/restoration of the jetty and access of vehicles and plant for dismantling/restoration activities could cause adverse impacts of minor adverse significance on areas of Corallina turf due to physical disturbance (impact code D1 and D2). As discussed for similar construction phase physical disturbance impacts (code C2), any disruption to the physical structure of the rocks and channels, blockages and changes to the run-off and surface water flows through these channels and driving over areas of Corallina, could damage Corallina swards. Mitigation measures as described previously would be applied, including restricting access routes, ensuring a narrow working corridor, use of geotextile track for access, tailor-made solutions for the maintenance of drainage channels for Corallina and micrositing the position of dismantling/restoration plant. As piles are to be cut off at ground level, it is unlikely that it would be possible to reinstate the drainage of all channels to allow for Corallina re-establishment, although it is anticipated that any long-term impacts would be of limited scale. As well as detailed inspections prior to construction, it is proposed to undertake further inspections of the channels prior to decommissioning, to enable the preparation of specific proposals for individual piles and associated channels, and allow re-instatement (where possible) of the drainage characteristics and/or for the creation of new, beneficial drainage flows. e) Mitigation Measures during Removal and Reinstatement

10.6.20

10.6.21

10.6.22

The removal of the jettys infrastructure would involve the same processes as required for the jettys dismantling/restoration. Accordingly, the same impacts would occur during the jettys removal and reinstatement phase and the same mitigation measures are applicable. The mitigation and protective measures are not repeated, but are identified and summarised in Table 10.8.

10.7
10.7.1

Residual Impacts
Impacts have been assessed after taking into consideration aspects of project design and generic mitigation and management measures which would be required as part of the jetty development (e.g. compliance with discharge consents). Following this approach, one impact (changes to longshore and cross-shore drainage patterns affecting Corallina on the foreshore) was still considered to be of moderate adverse significance. In this instance specific mitigation was identified, as described in Section 10.6, to reduce the significance of the impact to minor adverse. All residual adverse impacts on marine ecological receptors that have been assessed after appropriate protective and mitigation measures have been put in place have been found to be of minor or negligible significance (see Table 10.8).

10.7.2

10.8
10.8.1

Summary of Impacts
A summary of the impacts and protective and mitigation measures considered above is presented in Table 10.8 for the construction, operation, dismantling and restoration and, if required, removal and reinstatement phases of the proposed jetty development.

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Table 10.8 Summary of Impacts


Magnitude Description Value / Sensitivity Impact Mitigation Residual Impact

Impact No

Potential Impact

Receptor

Impacts during Construction Loss of Sensitive Marine Receptors Very low Local, adverse, temporary and permanent, direct, certain Local, adverse, temporary and permanent, direct, certain Low Negligible Medium Minor CM1: Control of access and construction areas in inter-tidal zone Not applicable Minor

C1

Loss of sensitive marine receptors

Corallina

C1

Loss of sensitive marine receptors

Inter-tidal invertebrates

Very low

Negligible

Impacts during Construction Physical Disturbance Very low Local, adverse, temporary direct, certain Local, adverse, temporary, direct, certain Low Negligible Not applicable Negligible

C2 and C4 Very low

Physical disturbance due to piling, access and dredging

Sub-tidal invertebrates

C2 and C4

Physical disturbance due to piling, access and dredging

Low Value Fish

Low

Negligible

Not applicable

Negligible

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Jetty Development

Impact No Very low Local, adverse, temporary, direct, possible Minor (Marine mammals) Very low Local, adverse, temporary, direct, certain Medium Minor Best practice: control of access and construction areas in inter-tidal zone High Minor (High Value Fish) Not applicable

Potential Impact

Receptor

Magnitude

Description

Value / Sensitivity

Impact

Mitigation

Residual Impact Minor

C2 and C4

Physical disturbance due to piling, access and dredging

High Value Fish

Marine mammals

C2 and C4

Physical disturbance due to piling access and dredging

Corallina

Minor

Impacts during Construction Physical Disturbance resulting in Changes to Drainage Patterns Medium Local, adverse, temporary, direct, certain Medium Moderate Control of access and construction areas in inter-tidal zone plus inter-tidal drainage study, at any location where piling lies in Corallina channel Minor

C3

Physical disturbance resulting in changes to longshore and cross shore drainage patterns

Corallina

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Jetty Development

Impact No

Potential Impact

Receptor

Magnitude

Description

Value / Sensitivity

Impact

Mitigation

Residual Impact

Impacts during Construction Changes in Water Quality Very low Local, adverse, temporary, direct, indirect and unlikely High Negligible (due to adoption of controls, irregular presence of some receptors and distance from potential sources of others) Not applicable Negligible

C5

Changes in water quality

Sub-tidal, intertidal invertebrates, fish, marine mammals, Corallina and Sabellaria.

Impacts during Construction Noise and Vibration Low Local, adverse, temporary, direct, certain Low Negligible (due to temporary and local nature of impacts, turbid receiving environment and ability of fish to swim away) High High Minor Minor Not applicable Negligible

C6

Noise and vibration from piling

Low Value Fish

C6 Low

Noise and vibration from piling

High Value Fish

Low

Marine mammals

Local, adverse, temporary, direct, possible

Not applicable

Minor

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Jetty Development

Impact No Very low Local, adverse, temporary, direct, certain Local, adverse, temporary, direct, possible High Minor Low Negligible Not applicable

Potential Impact

Receptor

Magnitude

Description

Value / Sensitivity

Impact

Mitigation

Residual Impact Negligible

C6

Noise and vibration associated with vessel movements and dredging activity Very low

Low Value Fish

C6

High Value Fish

Not applicable

Minor

Noise and vibration associated with vessel movements and dredging activity

Marine mammals

Impacts during Construction Light Disturbance Very low Local, adverse, temporary, direct, possible Local, adverse, temporary, direct, possible High Low Negligible Not applicable Negligible

C7

Light disturbance to marine biota due to 24 hours construction works Very low

Low Value Fish

C7

High Value fish

Minor

Not applicable

Minor

Light disturbance to marine biota due to 24 hours construction works

Marine mammals

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Jetty Development

Impact No

Potential Impact

Receptor

Magnitude

Description

Value / Sensitivity

Impact

Mitigation

Residual Impact

Impacts during Operation Physical Disturbance Very low Local, beneficial, temporary, direct, unlikely High Minor Not applicable Minor

O1

Habitat created by underwater structures suitable for colonisation. Increase in heterogeneity of the environment Very low Local, adverse, temporary, direct, certain Local, adverse, temporary, direct, possible High Minor Minor Low Negligible

Sabellaria reef

O2

Disturbance to fish due to maintenance dredging around the seaward end of the jetty Very low

Low Value Fish

Not applicable

Negligible

O2

High Value Fish

Not applicable

Minor Minor

Disturbance to fish and marine mammals due to maintenance dredging around the seaward end of the jetty

Marine mammals

Impacts during Operation Noise and Vibration Very low Local, adverse, temporary, direct, possible Low Negligible Not applicable Negligible

O3

Noise and vibration associated with operation of the jetty and dredging

Low Value Fish

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Impact No Very low Local, adverse, temporary, direct, possible High Not applicable

Potential Impact

Receptor

Magnitude

Description

Value / Sensitivity

Impact

Mitigation

Residual Impact Negligible

O3

High Value Fish

Noise and vibration associated with operation of the jetty and dredging

Marine mammals

Negligible (due to temporary and local nature of impacts, receiving environment and ability of fish and marine mammals to swim away)

Impacts during Operation Light Disturbance Very low Local, adverse, temporary, direct, possible Local, adverse, temporary, direct, possible Local, beneficial, temporary, direct, possible High Low Negligible Not applicable Negligible

O4

Light disturbance

Low Value fish

O4

Light disturbance

High Value Fish

Very low

Minor

Not applicable

Minor

Marine mammals Very low

O4

Light disturbance

Corallina

Medium

Negligible (due to jetty design, irregular lighting patterns and lighting design)

Not applicable

Negligible

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Jetty Development

Impact No

Potential Impact

Receptor

Magnitude

Description

Value / Sensitivity

Impact

Mitigation

Residual Impact

Impacts during Operation Changes in Water Quality Very low Local, adverse, temporary, direct, indirect and unlikely High Negligible (due to adoption of controls, irregular presence of some receptors and distance from potential sources of others) Not applicable Negligible

O5

Changes in water quality

Sub-tidal, intertidal invertebrates, fish, marine mammals, Corallina and Sabellaria.

Impacts during Dismantling and Restoration / Removal and Reinstatement Habitat Loss / Modification Very low Local, adverse, temporary, direct, certain Medium Minor Good practice: control of access and construction areas in inter-tidal zone plus inter-tidal drainage study, at any location where piling lies in Corallina channel Minor

D1

Loss of sensitive marine receptors including shore, inter-tidal and sub-tidal zones

Corallina

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Jetty Development

Impact No

Potential Impact

Receptor

Magnitude

Description

Value / Sensitivity

Impact

Mitigation

Residual Impact

Impacts during Dismantling and Restoration / Removal and Reinstatement Physical Disturbance Very low Local, adverse, temporary, direct, certain Low Negligible Not applicable Negligible

D2

Physical disturbance of inter-tidal and sub-tidal zone, due to activities at each jetty upright, access for vehicle and plant, access for delivery of materials, access for the workforce Very low Local, adverse, temporary, direct, possible High Minor (Diadromous fish) Minor (Marine mammals)

Low Value Fish

D2

High Value Fish

Not applicable

Minor

Physical disturbance of inter-tidal and sub-tidal zone, due to activities at each jetty upright, access for vehicle and plant, access for delivery of materials, access for the workforce

Marine mammals

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Jetty Development

Impact No Low Local, adverse, temporary, direct, certain Medium Minor Good practice: appropriate design of access track and construction areas in inter-tidal zone plus inter-tidal drainage study, at any location where piling lies in Corallina channel

Potential Impact

Receptor

Magnitude

Description

Value / Sensitivity

Impact

Mitigation

Residual Impact Minor

D2

Physical disturbance of inter-tidal and sub-tidal zone, due to activities at each jetty upright, access for vehicle and plant, access for delivery of materials, access for the workforce

Corallina

Impacts during Dismantling and Restoration / Removal and Reinstatement - Changes in Water Quality Very low Local, adverse, temporary, direct, indirect and unlikely High Negligible (due to adoption of controls, irregular presence of some receptors and distance from potential sources of others) Not applicable Negligible

D3

Changes in water quality

Sub-tidal, intertidal invertebrates, fish, marine mammals, Corallina and Sabellaria.

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Jetty Development

10.9
10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 10.15 10.16 10.17 10.18 10.19 10.20 10.21 10.22 10.23

References
EDF Energy Environmental Scoping Report supporting the Preliminary Works Development. Temporary Jetty. March 2010. Marine Management Organisation Scoping Opinion 2010. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (1971). The Convention on Biological Diversity 1992. The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR). EC Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds (79/409/EEC). EC Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora (92/43/EEC) (EC Habitats Directive). The Water Framework Directive (2000/60EC). EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Council Regulation (EC) No 1100/2007 of 18 September 2007 establishing measures for the recovery of the stock of European eel. http://www.eaa-europe.org/index.php?id=60. Defra 2010. Eel Management plans for the United Kingdom: Severn River Basin District. http://www.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/fisheries/documents/fisheries/emp/severn.pdf. Defra 2010. Eel Management plans for the United Kingdom: South West River Basin District. http://www.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/fisheries/documents/fisheries/emp/southwest.pdf The Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) (England and Wales) Regulations 2003 SI 3242. The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981(as amended). The Countryside and Rights of way Act 2000. The Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009). Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 (SAFFA). Planning Policy Statement 9 (PPS9) Biodiversity and Geological Conservation. UK Biodiversity Action Plan (2007). Somerset and Exmoor Joint Structure Plan 1996 2016. West Somerset District Local Plan 1991 2011. West Somerset District Local Development Framework 2006 2026.

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10.24 10.25 10.26

Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP). (Sedgemoor and West Somerset) 2008. Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM). Guidelines on Ecological Impact Assessment (2006). APEM 2009a. Provision of Professional Consultancy Services for the Marine Ecology Survey. Final Baseline Report. APEM Scientific Report 410587 (reproduced in Volume 4, Section 10, Part B) BEEMS 2009a. The effects of new nuclear build on the marine ecology of Hinkley Point and Bridgwater Bay V2. EDF BEEMS Technical Report TR068. BEEMS 2009b. Hinkley Point seabed habitat mapping. Interpretation of swath bathymetry, side-scan sonar and ground-truthing results. V.2. EDF BEEMS Technical Report TR039, Cefas, pp. 41. BEEMS 2009c. Hinkley Point Nearshore Communities: Results of the Day Grab Surveys 2008-2009. Draft 2 EDF BEEMS Technical Report TR067, Cefas, 100 pp. Davies J., Baxter J., Bradley M., Connor D., Khan J., Murray E., Sanderson W., Turnbull C. & Vincent M. 2001. Marine monitoring Handbook. Joint Nature Conservation committee. P.405. Wyn G., Brazier P. & McMath M. 2000. CCW Handbook for Marine Inter-tidal Phase 1 Survey and Mapping. Marine Science Report No. 00/06/01. Countryside Council for Wales. NMMP (UK National Marine Monitoring Programme). (2003). Green Book (Version 7). APEM. 2009b. Additional fish and plankton surveys additional fish/plankton surveys (August and October 2009) APEM Scientific Report 410587. APEM 2010a. Hinkley Point inter-tidal fish and mobile epifauna surveys. Draft final report, APEM Scientific Report 410796. The Severn Estuary Data Set (SEDS). Cloern J. E. 1987. Turbidity as a control on phytoplankton biomass and productivity in estuaries. Continental Shelf Research, 7 (11/12): 1367-1381. Joint I. R. & Pomroy A. J. 1981. Primary Production in a Turbid Estuary. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 13(3): 303-316. Joint I. R. 1984. The Microbial Ecology of the Bristol Channel. Marine pollution Bulletin, 15(2): 62-66. STPG. 1989. Review of phytoplankton and its relevance to post barrage conditions STPG report pp. 88. Underwood G. J. C. 1994. Seasonal and spatial variation in epipelic diatom assemblages in the Severn estuary. Diatom Research, 9: 451-472. De Jonge, V. N. & van Beusekom, J. E. E. 1995. Wind- and tide-induced resuspension of sediment and microphytobenthos from tidal flats in the Ems estuary. Limnology & Oceanography, 40(4): 766-788.
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Feist, B.E., Anderson, J.J. & Miyamoto, R., 1992. Potential impacts of pile driving on juvenile pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and chum (O. keta) salmon behaviour and distribution. Pound Sounds Final Report. May 1992, Seattle, WA. Nedwell J., Turnpenny A., Langworthy J. & Edwards B., 2003a. Measurements of underwater noise during piling at the Red Funnel Terminal, Southampton, and observations of its effects on caged fish. Subascoustech Ltd. Report Reference: 558 R 0207. Richardson W. J., Greene, C. R., Malme C. I. and Thompson D. H., 1985. Marine mammals and noise. Academic Press Inc, San Diego. Cefas, 2003. Preliminary investigation of the sensitivity of fish to sound generated by aggregate dredging and marine construction. Defra R&D project. AE0914. Vella, G., Rushforth, I., Mason E., Hough A., England R., Styles P., Holt T & Thome P., 2001. Assessment of the effects of noise and vibration from offshore windfarms on marine wildlife. A report for the DTI by ETSU, W/13/00566/REP:DTI/ Pub URN 01/1341. McCauley R. D., 1994. Seismic Surveys In: Swan, J. M., Neff, J. M. Young P. C. (Eds) Environmental Implications of Offshore Oil and Gas Development in Australia the findings of an independent scientific review. APEA, Sydney. Engas A., Misund O. A, Soldal A. V., Horvei B., & Slastad A., 1995. Reactions of penned herring and cod to playback of original frequency filtered and time smoothed vessel sound. Fisheries Research, 22: 243-252. Bone, Q., Marshall, N. B. & Blaxter, J. H. S. 1995, Biology of FIshes. 2nd ed. Chapman and Hall. Hastings, M. C. & Popper, A., 2005. Effects of sound on fish. Report for the California Department of transportation. Higgs, D. M., Plachta, D. T. T., Rollo, A. K., Singheiser M., Hastings M. C. & Popper A. N., 2004. Development of ultrasound detection in American shad (Alosa sapidissima). Journal of Experimental Biology 207: 155-163 Gisner, R. C. (ed.), 1998. Workshop on the effects of anthropogenic noise in the marine environment, 10-12 February 1998. Marine Mammal Science Programme, Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA. Nedwell, J. R., Parvin, S. J. Edwards, B., Workman, R., Brooker, A. G. and Kynoch, J. E. 2007. Measurement and interpretation of underwater noise during construction and operation of offshore windfarms in UK waters. Subacoustech Report No. 544R0738 to COWRIE Ltd. ISBN: 978-0-9554279-5-4. Blaxter J. H. S., Denton E. J., Gray J. A. B. 1981. The auditory bullae-swimbladder system in late stage herring larvae. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom61: 315-326. Turnpenny, A. W. H., Wood, R., and Thatcher, K. P. 1994. Fish Deterrent field trials at Hinkley Point Power Station, Somerset, 1993-1994. ETSU Consultancy report. Fawley Aquatic Research Laboratories Ltd, UK.

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APEM 2010b. Hinkley Point inter-tidal fish and mobile epifauna surveys: spring-summer 2010. Draft Final Report. APEM Ref 411070. Potter E. C. E, 1988, Movements of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., in an estuary in south-west England. J. Fish Biol. 33: 153 159. Wilber, D. H., Brostoff, W., Clarke, Douglas G.; Ray, Gary L.,2005. Sedimentation: Potential Biological Effects of Dredging Operations in Estuarine and Marine Environments. Engineer Research and Development Centre.

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Environmental Statement November 2010

Annex 10.1

Response to Scoping Opinion from Marine Management Organisation (MMO) Hinkley Point, Temporary Jetty
Response Considered in Chapter 25 on Cumulative Impacts Addressed in Marine Ecology Impact Assessment (Section 10.5)

Page, Paragraph of Scoping Opinion

Issue

Page 3, Para 3.1

Natural England (NE) consider impact of running of the jetty in combination with main development.

Page 4, Para 3.1

NE seek assurances that vibration associated with running of conveyor will not be transmitted to water column and disturb fish populations.

Page 4, Para 3.1

NE ask whether dredged material is to be disposed of within the SPA/SAC

Addressed in Section 10.5 and in Chapter 9 on Hydrodynamics and Coastal Geomorphology Addressed in Impact and Mitigation section of this Chapter. See Sections 10.5 and 10.6 Considered in Chapter 25 on Cumulative Impacts Considered in Chapter 25 on Cumulative Impacts Addressed in Impact and Mitigation section of this Chapter (Sections 10.5 and 10.6) Addressed in Mitigation section of this Chapter. See Section 10.6.

Page 4, Para 3.1

NE identify that the EIA should define how any impacts on Sabellaria reef and Corallina turfs have been minimised/avoided.

Page 4, Para 3.2

Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) raise the issue of potential impacts in-combination.

Page 4, Para 3.2

CCW require that the EIA covers all works that may take place in and/or adjacent to the development site.

Page 4, Para 3.3

Environment Agency (EA) - identify that the EIA should define how any impacts on Sabellaria reef and Corallina turfs have been minimised/avoided.

Page 4, Para 3.3

EA identify the need for a monitoring programme for the above habitats.

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Temporary Jetty Development

Page, Paragraph of Scoping Opinion

Issue

Response Addressed in Impact section (Section 10.5) and Chapter 20 on Noise and Vibration Considered in Chapter 25 on Cumulative Impacts There is no proposal to use the jetty during operation of the Hinkley Point C Project and the jetty would be dismantled following completion of the construction phase. Amendments made Addressed in Section 10.5 and Chapter 9 on Hydrodynamics and Coastal Geomorphology. The current preferred disposal option for dredged material is disposal to the Cardiff Grounds Monitoring and post/survey assessments proposed in Mitigation section to allow for sensitive and appropriate re-instatement of drainage channels etc. See Section 10.6. Addressed in Impact section (Section 10.5) and Chapter 20 on Noise and Vibration. Access ramp no longer part of this application and in-combination effects addressed in Chapter 25 on Cumulative Impacts.

Page 4, Para 3.3

EA identifies the need for assessment of vibration impacts associated with construction, operation and dismantling of jetty.

Page 4, Para 3.3

EA identified the need for cumulative impact assessment.

Page 12, Section 1.1.1

CCW seeks clarification as to whether there will be a requirement to retain/use the jetty during the operation of Hinkley C.

Page 12, Section 1.2.9

Amend references to Conservation Regulations

Page 12, Section 2.2.11

Recommend that sediment removed through dredging is kept within the coastal sediment system (subject to assessment of the potential smothering of marine habitats).

Page 12, Section 2.3.7, 2.5.5 and 3.9.6

Recommends that ES clarifies quality of habitat following removal of jetty.

Page 13, Section 2.3.7

Recommends that ES assesses effects of pile driving (or other vibration increases) on fish populations

Page 13, Section 2.3.7

Questions how access ramp can be considered temporary and requires in combination effects to be considered in ES.

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Temporary Jetty Development

Page, Paragraph of Scoping Opinion

Issue

Response Impacts section broken down into construction, operation, dismantling/restoration and removal and restoration and impacts associated with each phase assessed (Section 10.5). In-combination effects addressed in Chapter 25 on Cumulative Impacts. Addressed in Chapter 9 on Hydrodynamics and Coastal Geomorphology. No quantification has been provided for the extent of the sediment plume as this will be highly variable under the range of tidal conditions. Consideration has been made to the fact that the Bristol Channel is a highly turbid system with highly mobile bed deposits. Addressed in Chapter 9. No quantification has been assessed for these effects. The potential for scour around the jetty structure has been provided and it is not expected that the jetty due to its piled construction, density of piles and alignment will impact upon wave conditions. Addressed in Impact section of the Marine Ecology chapter (Section 10.5). Addressed in Chapter 12 on Water Quality. All known available sources of data have been referenced. Timelines etc. and impacts assessed in Chapter 25 on Cumulative Impacts. Also addressed in the Flood Risk Assessment (see Chapter 13). Baseline section has been substantially reworked (Section 10.4).

Page 13, Section 2.5.1

Requires clarification of decommissioning, assessment of in-combination effects and impacts on fish features assessed.

Page 13, Section 2.3.9

Recommends that the ES describes, clarifies and quantifies, as far as is possible, the scale of impact associated with sediment plumes.

Page 13, Section 3.2.11 and 3.2.18

Recommends that the ES describes, clarifies and quantifies, as far as is possible, the scale of impact associated with likely wave conditions and tidal bed shear stress.

Page 13, Section 3.2.12

Advises that assessment of impacts associated with maintenance dredging be considered within ES.

Page 13, Section 3.3.14

Recommends clarification in the ES of water quality datasets used and others that may be available.

Page 13, Section 3.7.5 and 3.7.10

Recommends that ES clarifies potential for temporal overlap between jetty and need for coastal protection to protect proposed Hinkley Point C, and need to address cumulative effects.

Page 14, Section 3.9.2 and 3.9.3

Recommends that ES sets out designations and features in full.

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Temporary Jetty Development

Page, Paragraph of Scoping Opinion Table removed.

Issue

Response

Page 14, Table 3.1

Identifies inaccuracy in this table.

Page 14, Section 3.11.3

Notes that the fish assemblage is part of the estuary features of the SAC.

Baseline section has been substantially reworked and impacts on fish assessed (Section 10.4 and 10.5). Addressed in Impact section of this Chapter (Section 10.5) and Chapter 20 on Noise and Vibration. Considered in Chapter 25 on Cumulative Impacts. Also addressed in Flood Risk Assessment (Chapter 13).

Page 14, Sections 3.11.18 and 3.13

Advises assessment of vibration on fish species and assemblage features of the SAC.

Page 14, Section 4.28

We strongly recommend that the ES clarifies temporal overlap between existence and use of the jetty and the need for coastal protection works to protect the proposed Hinkley Point C development site.

Page 14, Section 4.2.10

We recommend that that the cumulative effects of the Culver Sands dredging licence are considered in the ES.

There has been no requirement to assess cumulative impacts from Culver Sands with the Jetty, due to its distance. Addressed in Impact and Mitigation sections (Sections 10.5 and 10.6)

Page 16, Section 3.11.1

Environment Agency (EA) - identify that the EIA should define how any impacts on Sabellaria reef and Corallina turfs have been minimised/avoided.

Page 16, Section 3.11.1

EA identify the need for a monitoring programme for the above habitats.

Addressed in Mitigation section (Section 10.6). Addressed in Impact section of this Chapter (Section 10.5) and Chapter 20 on Noise and Vibration. Considered in Chapter 25 on Cumulative Impacts.

EA identifies the need for assessment of vibration impacts associated with construction, operation and dismantling of jetty.

Page 16, Section 3.11.1

EA identified the need for cumulative impact assessment.

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Temporary Jetty Development

Page, Paragraph of Scoping Opinion Considered in Chapter 25 on Cumulative Impacts.

Issue

Response

Page 16, Section 4.2

EA identified the need for cumulative impact assessment.

Page 43, Section 3.11

Sedgemoor District Council (SDC) & West Somerset Council (WSC) require baseline data and sources of information to be provided.

Baseline fully defined in Chapter and appropriately referenced (Section 10.4). Addressed in Impact and Mitigation section of this Chapter (Sections 10.5 and 10.6). Addressed in Chapter 6 on Project Description and Chapter 7 Consideration of the Alternatives. Location of Jetty established following detailed surveys of the foreshore. Baseline fully defined in Chapter and appropriately referenced. Baseline reports provided in Volume 4. Sufficient data is available now to characterise the baseline, but ongoing surveys will continue as appropriate.

Page 43, Section 3.11

SDC & WSC - identify that the EIA should define how any impacts on Sabellaria reef and Corallina turfs have been minimised/avoided.

Page 44, Section 3.11

SDC & WSC identifies the need to demonstrate that design and siting studies have been undertaken with the primary objective of avoiding or minimising environmental impact.

Page 44, Section 3.11

SDC & WSC raises the issue of scope and completeness of data.

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Annex 10.2 Consultation Meetings


Date External Organisations attending Natural England (NE), Environment Agency & Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) CCW Correspondence NE and SCC Consultee discussion / comments External Attendees

20/08/08

Marine ecology issues discussed including initial data review, coastal processes and coastal protection. Possible need for offshore surveys identified. Also discussed coastal monitoring and defence issues and management of discharges. Water dependant features within the assessment area should be detailed as previously suggested in consultation. Terrestrial ecology and marine ecology scoping meeting to discuss and agree scope of proposed surveys. The proposed sampling design for the local scale surveys was presented at this meeting. NE confirmed it was content with range and scope of proposed surveys (including a desk-based assessment for marine mammals), but requested that a full 12 month survey period was applied for certain key species, specifically fish. As shad (protected Annex II species under the Habitats Directive) abundance tends to peak in July/August, sampling was extended to cover this period. CCW comments on marine ecology methodology were received on 09/02/09. NE comments on marine ecology were received on 12/02/09. Other than extension of surveys as decided at the 03./11/08 meeting no other changes to survey design were requested. Start-up MALG meeting discussed marine studies, consents and estuary issues. Granville Roberts EA Eve Leegwater EA Ken Moss EA Bob Corns NE Sue Howard CCW Rob Shuttleworth Sedgemoor DC Bob Corns NE Glen Gillespie NE Linda Tucker NE Tony Serjeant SCC

22/09/08

03/11/08

16/01/09

NE and CCW

11/03/09

MALG *

11/05/09 19/05/09

EA MALG

Discussion of discharges and consenting Discussion of preliminary works applications and status of surveys etc Vanessa Straker English Heritage Bob Corns NE

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Date

External Organisations attending

Consultee discussion / comments

External Attendees

24/06/09

MALG

Discussed offshore investigations, application for discharge consents, shore access arrangements and Sea Protection Group. Presentation of marine and terrestrial water quality monitoring results. Discussion of proposed discharge strategy.

19/05/09

MALG

Update on thermal plume and other offshore studies, programme and design development

28/07/09

MALG

Status presentation on studies regarding shore access, sea protection wall, abstraction and discharge, water quality, contaminated land, groundwater, ground gas.

Granville Roberts EA Dave Crowson EA Louisa Mckay EA Claire Pearce Sedgemoor DC Lizzie Bird SCC Rebecca Seaman SCC Ricky Evans MFA Geoff Bowles MFA Sue Howard CCW Nicola Rimington CCW Chris Spencer Bridgwater Bay Harbour Master Karema Warr CEFAS Bob Corns NE Granville Roberts EA Louisa Mckay EA Valerie Moody SCC Rebecca Seaman SCC Geoff Bowles MFA Chris Morgan WSC Dave Crowson EA Vanessa Straker English Heritage Glen Gillespie NE Angus Bloomfield NE Richard Archer RSPB Claire Pearce Sedgemoor DC Bob Corns NE Louisa McKay EA Ricky Evans MFA Granville Roberts EA Dave Crowson EA Claire Pierce Sedgemoor DC Rebecca Seaman SCC Ricky Evans MFA Geoff Bowles MFA Sue Howard CCW Nicola Rimington CCW Karema Warr CEFAS Chris Spencer Bridgwater Bay Harbour Master (CS) Vanessa Straker English Heritage Granville Roberts EA Louisa Mckay EA Dave Crowson EA Rebecca Seaman SCC Geoff Bowles MFA Ricky Evans MFA Karema Warr CEFAS Chris Morgan WSC

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Date

External Organisations attending

Consultee discussion / comments

External Attendees

02/09/09

MALG

Discussed off shore investigations, temporary jetty design, and sea wall. Discussion of information required on discharge consents during construction, surface water monitoring and quality.

30/09/09

MALG

Discussion of jetty design and berthing study, seawall,

01/12/09

MALG

Progress on programme, borehole investigations, consenting for jetty, jetty design and alignments, sea wall design

Sue Howard CCW Andrew Goodchild WSDC Mark Smith ARUP Vanessa Straker English Heritage Bob Corns NE Glen Gillespie NE Granville Roberts EA Chris Stages EA Louisa McKay EA Ricky Evans MFA Karema Warr CEFAS Valerie Moody WSC Chris Morgan WSC Andrew Goodchild WSC John Stone Bridgwater Bay Deputy Harbour Master Jason Drummond ARUP Bob Corns NE Angus Bloomfield NE Geoff Bowles MFA Ricky Evans MFA Vanessa Straker English Heritage Granville Roberts EA Louisa McKay EA Valerie Moody SCC Paul Denny SCC Chris Morgan WSC Andrew Goodchild WSC John Stone Bridgwater Bay Deputy Harbour Master Jason Drummond ARUP Bob Corns Natural England Glen Gillespie Natural England Geoff Bowles Marine and Fisheries Agency Ricky Evans Marine and Fisheries Agency James Howard Marine and Fisheries Agency Granville Roberts Environment Agency Louisa McKay Environment Agency Valerie Moody Somerset County Council Rebecca Seaman

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Date

External Organisations attending

Consultee discussion / comments

External Attendees

06/01/10

MALG

Progress of studies, Appropriate Assessment for jetty discussed. Site visit undertaken 05/01/10

02/03/10

MALG

EDF roles and responsibilities, timeline, temporary jetty design, retaining wall structure, hydraulic modelling with regard to the thermal plume, hydrology.

14/04/10

MALG

Temporary jetty two stage proposal discussed, cumulative impacts, European Site issues and Habitats Regulations, drainage strategy and foreshore discharge.

Somerset County Council Chris Morgan West Somerset Council Sue Howard CCW Keith Badsey Bridgwater Bay Deputy Harbour Master Jason Drummond ARUP James Holbrook ARUP Bob Corns NE Angus Bloomfield NE Andrew Goodchild WSC Geoff Bowles MFA James Howard MFA Jonathan Peters MFA Andrew Watson MFA Granville Roberts EA Rebecca Seaman SCC Lizzie Bird SCC Chris Morgan WSC Karema Warr CEFAS Keith Badsey Bridgwater Bay Deputy Harbour Master Jason Drummond ARUP James Holbrook ARUP Bob Corns NE Andrew Goodchild WSC Vanessa Straker English Heritage James Howard MFA Rebecca Seaman SCC Lizzie Bird SCC Keith Badsey Bridgwater Bay Deputy Harbour Master Jason Drummond ARUP James Holbrook ARUP Karema Warr CEFAS Sue Howard CCW Valerie Moody SCC Granville Roberts EA Louisa McKay EA Chris Hayes EA K White EA John Southwell EA Bob Corns NE Angus Bloomfield NE Iain Sturdy Internal Drainage Board James Howard Marine Management

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Date

External Organisations attending

Consultee discussion / comments

External Attendees

Organisation Martyn Youell Marine Management Organisation Lizzie Bird SCC Barry James SCC Keith Badsey Bridgwater Bay Deputy Harbour Master Jason Drummond ARUP James Holbrook ARUP Sue Howard CCW Valerie Moody SCC 24/05/10 EA, Internal drainage Board, NE Discussion of drainage strategy including foreshore discharges

MEETING BETWEEN EDF ENERGY AND THE EA, 23/07/10


Following a meeting between EDF Energy and the EA on 23 July 2010, the EA provided a written response on 6 August 2010. This response raised the following issues of relevance to marine ecology: Phytoplankton; zooplankton; epifauna; benthic flora; inter-tidal and sub-tidal invertebrates, and inter-tidal habitats should be assessed as being of being of higher sensitivity than Low. The value/sensitivity of these groups and habitats are discussed in Section 4 and summarised in Table 10.5. It is appreciated that these groups support the food chain of the Severn Estuary. However, these are groups and species which are common throughout coastal waters of the United Kingdom and are not species which are protected in their own right. Accordingly, it is considered that the value and sensitivity of these receptors for this impact assessment should remain as presented in Table 10.5. The assessment does not take into account localised impacts on protected species and habitat loss and the magnitude of the impact of habitat loss should be low rather than very low. We believe that our assessment of potential impacts on Sabellaria is accurate given: a) The Severn Estuary is a highly turbid environment, b) Sabellaria survives very well in this turbid environment and is clearly very tolerant of high suspended sediment concentrations (so further disturbance is unlikely to be a problem) and c) there is no Sabellaria along the alignment of the jetty. Why are diadromous fish assessed together with marine mammals? As their value/sensitivity is the same it simplifies the impact assessment section of the report. The assessment of magnitude of impacts on diadromous fish from pile driving and plant movements should be low rather than very low. As diadromous fish are: a) unlikely to be present for more than a very short time of the year, b) have the ability to swim away and are therefore unlikely to be present in the inter-tidal zone during construction activities, and c) a soft-start approach will be used, the Best Practicable Environmental Option for piling will be adopted and will result in impacts of low magnitude.

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