2.8 Cleanup at the construction sites

Indicator 2.8 - Cleanup at the construction sites

 
Landsvirkjun sumarvinna 2Large construction projects call for a large amount of material. Limiting disturbance of land and vegetation, as well as reclaiming the areas used for mines and spoils that are not inundated by the reservoir or become part of the construction, is a sustainability issue.



Results


All mine areas, soil and rock dump areas around the Alcoa Fjardaál smelter have been reclaimed. No mining areas were opened especially for the project as all material was taken from the site underneath the smelter.

Reclamation of mine and soil areas has been completed in the project area of the Fljótsdalur Power Station, focusing on these areas to fit as well as possible to the surrounding areas. However, one rock mine, located east of Kelduárlón reservoir, is kept open for further use. The reclamation was carried out according to instructions from representatives of The Environment Agency of Iceland, and visual evaluation was used to assess the condition of mine and spoil areas. Landsvirkjun will continue to monitor the mine and soil areas, even if they have been reclaimed and closed. The relevant areas will be inspected regularly to check whether waste and scrap has appeared and if so it will be removed. If necessary vegetation will be strengthened with fertilizer.


Table 1. Revegetation at Hraun area July 9th 2015


Area
Quantity of fertilizer Quantity of seed
  ha kg kg/ha
kg kg/ha
Vegetation strengthened
with fertilizer

40 9,000 225    
Vegetation strengthened
with seed
11 3,600 325
630 55

Spring examination showed good condition in areas further out on Fljótsdalsheiði heath (Tunnel 2) and therefore it was decided to skip fertilizer spreading in that area in 2015 and instead apply to Hálslón reservoir area.

More information concerning revegetation can be found in indicator 2.30 and in Landsvirkjun's report under further reading.

The figures show an example of a work camp during the construction (Figure 1) and how these area was reclaimed after the camps were removed (Figure 2). Furthermore, Landsvirkjun´s report  LV-2012-011 offers numerous photos taken at different stages of the project.

Figure 1. Work camps at Glúmsstaðadalsá (11.7.2006)

vinnubúðir á framkvædartíma


Figure 2. Reclaimed area at Glúmsstaðadalsá (19.7.2010). Before the area was reshaped, all concrete foundations, wiring and pipes were removed.

Vinnubúðir eftir framkvæmdir

Last updated in June 2016.

Metrics, Targets & Monitoring Protocol


Metrics: What is measured?

Progress of vegetation in the project area (project effect: Indirect).

Monitoring Protocol

Power plant: During construction observers will visit the area and make sure constructors work according to plans. Measurements will be done if needed. Visual inspection every few months.

After construction mine and soil areas will be inspected and measurements made to see if it has been correctly leveled. 

Revegetation areas will be visited annually, litter removed, and information gathered on vegetation status.  Fertilizer will be spread, where needed.

Smelter: Through field engineering records. Data will be published once after the construction of the smelter is finished.

Targets

Smelter and power plant: The condition of disturbed areas is in harmony with the surrounding nature and landscape.


Possible countermeasures

Not applicable. All areas have been cleaned up. Monitoring only.


Updated: March 16 2016


Changes of indicator

In annual meeting of the project in May 6 2015 following changes were approved:

What is measured?

Before After 
Ratio of disturbed land reclaimed after
construction.
Progress of vegetation in the project area


Monitoring Protocol

Before
 After
Infomation regarding progress of vegetation in the reclaiming area will be collected annually after construction.
Revegetation areas will be visited annually, litter removed, and information gathered on vegetation status.  Fertilizer will be spread, where needed.

Rationale for changes:

The changes are made to adapt the monitoring protocol to what is done and is realistic. It is hard to declare when land is reclaimed and no standard scale available. Fertilizer induces vegetation but for the long run  wild vegetation is the goal rather than species related to fertilizers. This will be monitored through annual visits to the area.

In forth phase of the initiative the numbers of the sustainability were changed. This indicator was originally number 20.1 and is referenced as 20.1 in early documents of the project.

Updated: March 9 2016

Rationale for Indicator Selection


Large construction projects call for a large amount of material. Limiting disturbance of land and vegetation, as well as reclaiming the areas used for mines and spoils that are not inundated by the reservoir or become part of the construction, is a sustainability issue.

Material used to build dams and roads, as well as material used for other project related purposes, is taken from mines that are carefully chosen based on research and environmental considerations. To make land reclamation more successful, organic soil that is removed from disturbed areas will be kept and used to cover disturbed areas. Vegetation will also be restored where appropriate.

Earth material from tunnels, sections, and other digging related to the projects will be used for construction or placed in areas chosen after research and environmental considerations. Spoil areas that are not inundated by Hálslón Reservoir or otherwise affected by the projects will be shaped so they become a part of the current landscape. Organic soil from spoil areas will be stored until construction is completed. Then the disturbed areas will be covered with the soil and vegetation reclaimed where appropriate.