Moyfin Quarry is located in a primarily agricultural area within the townland of Moyfin, Longwood, County Meath.
Operational since approximately 1950, Moyfin Quarry is a sand and gravel pit owned and operated by Davin Plant Hire Ltd.
The overall sand and gravel pit is 20 ha in area and the operations focused on supplying high quality sand material to the nearby construction sites. The proposed development focuses on development a waste permit on the site. Subsoil and topsoil material will be imported to the site to restore the site to productive agricultural land use while also accommodating a number of habitats on the site. A Construction and Development (C&D) recycling permit is proposed for the site to increase the recycling rate of C&D in the local area and serve a niche.
Moyfin Pit is located within the River Boyne Catchment (Hydrometric Area 07). The closest surface water features are located to the west of the Pit. The Boyne is a designated site – the Boyne and Blackwater SAC.
Proposed Infrastructure associated with the pit comprises landscaped earthen berms surrounding most of the former quarrying area, offices and associated canteen facilities, settlement lagoons, wheelwash and a weighbridge.
Surface water management features within Moyfin Pit comprise of a water collection sump swales, a series of settlement lagoons and oil water interceptor. The reuse of water within the site results in zero surface water discharge from the site.
The settlement ponds will collect runoff from the hardstand areas and from the wheelwash and following settlement this water is directed to a sump near the entrance and recirculated for use in the wheelwash. An overhead spray will be incorporated into the wheelwash. In this way, water is recycled within a closed system and there is no potential impact on the nearby River Boyne. The proposed settlement system will be closely monitored by the environmental management team as a result of water discharge from the Pit or suspended solids from vehicles exiting the site.
To support this sustainable water management system and protection of the local and regional environment, Davin Plant Hire Ltd. will provide ongoing environmental monitoring results to Meath County Council as per the planning conditions imposed on the continued operation of Moyfin Pit.
Davin Plant Hire Ltd. also minimise production of waste and where appropriate consider its beneficial use, including recycling. All waste is dealt with in accordance with the relevant legislation and other controls in place. Good practice is achieved when recycling used oils and greases, batteries, tyres, scrap metal, and timber. The strategic approach places a strong emphasis on preventing wastes and material reuse activities. The project focuses on enhancing the collection of quality materials from discarded waste to build on the positive progress made in recycling. The main product produced from the recycling of C&D waste is 6F2 Crushed concrete. This is used as a sub base in road construction and as underlay for roads through forestry and agricultural lands.
The management of the Pit works with nature in maintaining nesting sites for amber listed species which regularly use active quarries such as Sand Martins. Biodiversity is actively maintained and managed in restored areas and along the boundary of the site. An ecological buffer of 30m along the River Boyne was incorporated into the proposed development which will deliver long term benefits to the Boyne and Blackwater SAC.
Implementation of this buffer should not only protect watercourses and their associated riparian zone, but also provide other benefits important for the well-being of people living nearby. It is important to note that, the riparian zone (i.e., the bank and the vegetation running along a watercourse) is an integral part of any watercourse. The vegetation in the riparian zone also provides bank stability during flood conditions and filters pollutants out of surface water.