ISO 14001: A smooth transition
The revised ISO 14001 international environmental management system (EMS) standard will come into play in early 2015. Before, during and after these changes, RSK can help ensure that your business not only achieves the standard required, but also goes beyond regular compliance.
Rampion gets development consent
The Planning Inspectorate has reported that the Department for Energy and Climate Change gave the Rampion offshore wind farm development consent by on 16 July. Having completed the environmental impact assessment for the project off the Sussex coast and assisted E.ON throughout the examination process, RSK continues to work for the company during the pre-construction period.
Getting to grips with ground-penetrating radar
In December 2013, RSK won and successfully completed its first project using vehicle-towed ground-penetrating radar to help evaluate pavement condition. This required using new technologies and adopting new processing methods and advanced data interpretation. RSK geophysicists worked closely with Amey to ensure that we delivered a high-quality product.
The result of this is that we have now completed six similar surveys in as many months. We have developed our capabilities for rapid ground-penetrating radar surveys so that we can now market this service with confidence to other clients.
David Gibbins, contracts manager for Eurovia Infrastructure Ltd, who will undertake the next phase of works at one of the sites surveyed, said that our report was “very informative and probably the best we’ve seen”. On the back of this, he has recommended to Kent County Council that it should instruct RSK to undertake a complete buried utilities survey of a road section before it completes work there.
“We are winning more of the same type of work and the high-quality output is leading to the commission of work in other revenue areas,” saidgeophysics team managerTim Grossey.
West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farm
RSK is proud to have played an important role in the development of the West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farm, which the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey officially opened on 30 October 2014. The wind farm lies 20 km off the Barrow-in-Furness coast. With 108 turbines, it will be able to generate 389 MW of electricity – enough to power over a quarter of a million homes.
RSK was responsible for the management and production of the environmental impact assessment and specialist technical studies, including landscape, seascape and visual impact assessments. RSK also undertook on- and off-shore cable routing studies, including an assessment of the implications of the project for coastal processes, benthic studies, assessments of the impacts on fish and shellfish, marine sediment contamination studies and archaeological surveys. Further details on our involvement in this important offshore project can be viewed on our West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farm case study.
Iraq Energy City lab up and running
RSK’s new Iraq Energy City laboratory generated the first results for clients in June this year. The geotechnical laboratory was off the mark first and now has capabilities for particle size distribution, Atterberg limits, triaxial stresses, moisture, sedimentation, particle density, bulk density, compaction and California bearing ratios, and will soon have the capability for consolidation.
The environmental laboratory was hot on its heels with its first results in the first week of July. Its capabilities include total petroleum hydrocarbon criteria working group data; total petroleum hydrocarbons; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; volatile organic compounds; benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene; polychlorinated biphenyls and solvent extractable matter. Semi-volatile organic compounds will be added soon.
The demand for the services of this laboratory is huge and we have well advanced plans for adding to the existing equipment and the necessary space. A container of geotechnical equipment has recently arrived and additional analytical instruments for the environmental laboratory will arrive by air shortly. As part of our plan to service clients effectively and our commitment to the local community, seven Iraqi graduates have recently started and we will be employing more. The geotechnical laboratory is proving particularly popular: we will introduce a 24-hour shift pattern when our local technicians are trained.
A pre-assessment by a Saudi accrediting body for accreditation to BS EN ISO 17025 is planned for October. This is a critical step for the laboratory and its ability to service the many potential clients in Iraq.