Fortis has a clear duty of care focus to ensure that every tonne of Fortistone® IBA Aggregate is sold responsibly and within the parameters of prevailing legislation. The business has its own in-house Hydrogeology Department which is overseen by Tim Wilkins, Senior Hydrogeologist. All sites where IBA Aggregate is to be sold are comprehensively risk assessed Our Hydrogeological and Environmental Teams support our commercial partners and each contractor on a project by project basis, undertaking detailed environmental assessments for every infrastructure contract where we are looking to supply Fortistone® IBA Aggregate. These assessments consider various factors such as the geology of the site, water table, designations by the Environment Agency (flood risk/water quality) and gives the contractor guidance on how and where the IBA Aggregate should be used. Fortis can therefore provide assurance that every tonne of processed Fortistone® IBA Aggregate is used in the most responsible manner to create a safe and sustainable infrastructure.
SITE SUITABILITY ASSESSMENTS – A REQUIREMENT FOR IBA AGGREGATE
Some IBAA products may contain salts and metals that may have potential to cause an impact in natural waters, if placed in a sensitive environment without the appropriate controls. Accordingly, IBAA can only be used in suitable locations, and for suitable uses. Conditions for its use are provided by the Environment Agency (EA) in their Regulatory Position statement 247.
IBAA use does not present any particular risk to human health. The Environment Agency’s Quantitative Risk Assessment states “the risk of adverse health effects occurring from environmental exposure to IBAA dust is negligible, even before best-practice dust control measures applied”. Tests confirm it is classified as non-irritant to skin, and it meets generic human health related chemical limits for materials used in earthworks. These leachable components are also present in recycled aggregates, usually in lower concentrations than IBAA, but poorly characterised. Notably, the WRAP Quality Protocol for recycled aggregates does not require any testing for these, and is under review.
These same salts and metals are also in road runoff – de-icing salts, tyre/oil residues etc, at potentially similar concentrations (copper), or much higher (chloride). Impacts of road drainage in the water environment also need to be assessed for new developments using the HEWRAT tool for highways, or the SuDS manual for built environment. Runoff into watercourses from all construction sites should not contain suspended silt, and must not pollute surface water. Sites should have a method statement that minimises the risk of pollution from runoff during construction, particularly for earthworks and excavations.
SITES COMPLIANT WITH RPS247 ARE LEGAL AND SAFE TO SUPPLY, AUDITED BY THE EA
IBA Aggregate is supplied in accordance with Environment Agency RPS 247 which requires the producer to carry out and record a risk assessment for each supply site. Sites meeting these RPS 247 criteria above are legal to supply, and deemed safe from pollution by the Environment
The Three Tier Site Suitability Methodology:
The three tier Site Suitability Assessment methodology used by Fortis was developed by industry and specialist consultants in liaison with Environment Agency, to provide a consistent, auditable, best practice way to establish compliance with all the above, but it goes beyond the basic requirements of RPS247.
The three tier SSA includes detailed groundwater and surface water risk assessments, based on Environment Agency risk assessment guidance to make sure use is compliant with the Water Framework Directive and Groundwater Daughter Directive. Sites approved by the three-tier method are the best places to use IBA Aggregate to prevent overall degradation to the environment.
MEMBERSHIPS AND ACCREDITATIONS
MANUFACTURER’S OF IBA AGGREGATES ASSOCIATION (MIBAAA)
Fortis are members of MIBAAA and Lee Thompson, Business Development Director, is a founder member and Treasurer of the Association. Fortis are widely involved within the industry and with regulatory bodies, promoting the use of IBA Aggregate and the associated benefits of using it.
ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES ASSOCIATION (ESA)
Fortis are members of the ESA, enabling us to play a wider role in the industry as a whole, whilst working closely with the customers we serve on wider industry issues, and supporting the circular economy.