Quarries

As a consultant with DixonBrosnan, Damian Brosnan became one of the leading Irish experts in environmental impact assessment for the quarry industry. Through Damian Brosnan Acoustics (dBA), he continues to apply this knowledge, and works with a large number of quarry operator across Ireland.

Quarries are regulated by local authorities through planning permission. Large scale operations including ore extraction sites are subject to EPA licensing. Whether planning or licence, your quarry is most likely subject to environmental conditions, including noise limits. Damian Brosnan Acoustics routinely carries out noise monitoring for a large number of quarries across the country. We are entirely familiar with the standards relevant to the quarry industry, including:

• Quarries & ancillary activities: Guidelines for planning authorities (DoEHLG, 2004).
• Environmental code (ICF, 2005).
• Minerals policy statement 2 (ODPM, 2005).
• Environmental management in the extractive industry (non-scheduled minerals) (EPA, 2006).
• British Standard BS 5228:2009 Code of practice for noise and vibration control on construction and open sites Part 1: Noise (2009).
• British Standard BS 5228:2009 Code of practice for noise and vibration control on construction and open sites Part 2: Vibration (2009).

Quarry applicants intending to apply for planning permission are usually required to prepare an environmental impact statement or an environmental report which will include a noise impact assessment. Damian Brosnan Acoustics has extensive experience in this area, having worked on over 60 such projects to date. We have an excellent working relationship with local authorities across the country, and have been retained by several of them to assist on noise issues.

If you carry out blasting at your quarry, you will be familiar with the vibration monitoring carried out during each blast. This is typically carried out by the blasting company. You probably get the printout after each blast, and put it in a file on a shelf. If you intend to apply for planning permission, or if you are required to submit an Annual Environmental Report, you will need to have the vibration data reviewed and assessed. Damian Brosnan Acoustics will undertake this for you. Furthermore, if you need additional vibration monitoring, or if you have vibration issues which need investigation, we can assist you.

As a quarry operator, your facility includes a number of noise sources. As an employer, you have noise obligations under Safety Health & Welfare legislation. You are required to maintain an up to date risk assessment file, with information on noise risks to personnel. Key to management of such risks is occupational noise monitoring. Damian Brosnan Acoustics can help you here. We will identify areas where monitoring should be undertaken, design an appropriate monitoring programme, carry it out, and use the data to identify noise risks. We can then suggest a noise reduction programme, and recommend suitable hearing protection.