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News Article | March 26, 2016

Last year, nonprofit foundation The Ocean Cleanup hit a milestone en route to its goal of deploying a large, floating structure to pull plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The organization issued a press release announcing it had completed a reconnaissance expedition that would pave the way for a June 2016 test of its prototype. With the help of $2.2m in crowdfunding, 21-year-old founder Boyan Slat announced his plans to deploy 100 kilometers of passive floating barriers in an effort to clean up 42% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch’s plastic pollution in 10 years. Despite considerable online enthusiasm for the project, oceanographers and biologists are voicing less-publicized concerns. They question whether the design will work as described and survive the natural forces of the open ocean, how it will affect sea life, and whether this is actually the best way to tackle the problem of ocean plastic – or merely a distraction from the bigger problem of pollution prevention. Many have also expressed concern about the lack of an environmental impact statement prior to such a large push for funding. “The thing is, what we’re trying to achieve has never been done before,” Slat says. It’s 100 times bigger than anything that’s ever been deployed in the ocean. It’s 50% deeper, and 10 times more remote than the world’s most remote oil rig. So obviously there [are] technical challenges.” In the summer of 2014, The Ocean Cleanup released a 528-page feasibility study, which Slat and his team used to determine that the project was possible. As described in the study, the passive system relies on wind, waves and currents to push the floating plastic into screens that extend from the floating barriers like a skirt. The idea is that the current can pass beneath the screens, which will prevent bycatch of plants and animals. Since plastic floats, ocean pollution between 35-100 millimeters in size will be captured by the barriers. The v-shape of the array then concentrates the plastic pieces at the center of the structure, where they can be harvested and then sorted and processed in a collection platform. After the plastic is processed, it will be collected by boat every six weeks, with the hope that it can be sold as recycled material. In the feasibility study, The Ocean Cleanup offers four possible designs, but Slat says they’re still working on finalizing a concrete design of the collection platform. Scientists like physical oceanographer Kim Martini and biological oceanographer Miriam Goldstein still aren’t convinced that the structure can overcome the technical challenges. After the feasibility study was published in 2014, Martini and Goldstein published their own technical review on They say their concerns have remained largely unaddressed. Martini says Slat’s response was limited to a statement he made on a discussion panel. While he said he was “very happy they have read it”, and that they made valid points, Martini doesn’t think Slat has made a sufficient response to his concerns. “We continue to have serious reservations about the success of the project due to the quality of the responses [to our review] that we could find, and [to] the Ocean Cleanup’s substantive misinterpretation of oceanography, ecology, engineering and marine debris distribution, all of which are necessary for this project to succeed,” Martini wrote in an email. Since the feasibility study, The Ocean Cleanup team has focused the most on the engineering and design side, according to Slat. Since 2014, Slat and his team have deployed two scale model tests at water research centers called Deltares and Marin. Based on the scale tests, the team is trying to better understand and model how the structure will react to the wind, waves and currents it will experience in the open ocean, and how plastic will behave. Slat is characteristically optimistic. Though Martini and Goldstein wrote that the feasibility study underestimated the forces of currents and waves, Slat says based on his tests, “the forces are actually a lot lower than we thought they would be”. Another force the array might have to contend with is biofouling. Biofouling happens when marine life affixes itself to the structure, weighing it down and affecting its performance. Nonetheless, Slat does not see this as a concern. “We’re testing different environmentally friendly coatings to prevent biofouling,” he says. “It’s something that is an active part of our research, but it’s not on our top 10 list of concerns.” While the feasibility study devotes pages to the impacts on phytoplankton and zooplankton and other sea life, it fails to consider species that actually live in the gyre region, according to critics. In a September 2015 blog post, 5 Gyres, an activism, research and education nonprofit dedicated to issues of aquatic plastic pollution, pointed out that buoyant organisms like Velella velella or purple janthina snails that float along on the surface would likely not be able to flow beneath the array’s screen as planned. “The potential for ‘bycatch’ is too great to be ignored,” 5 Gyres writes. “It’s unfortunate that there were some taxa that were covered that aren’t in the gyre,” Slat says, citing the large number of volunteers who worked on the study. “But we don’t want to create new problems. Right now we don’t see any evidence based arguments why it should be a problem.” The Ocean Cleanup’s array, as deep-sea biologist Andrew David Thaler wrote on, is also a fish aggregating device. As the v-shape concentrates plastic debris in the center, it also has the potential to attract predator and prey species, disrupting their normal behavior or migration patterns. It could also make them more susceptible to consuming the plastic accumulating in the array. The Ocean Cleanup is continuing to test and refine the concept. After the crowdfunding campaign in 2014, Slat hired 35 more employees “to really get some speed and tackle these challenges”. The team has done a series of six expeditions since 2013 to measure the depth and size of ocean plastics within the gyre, the results of which will be published in a study that Slat says he “will be submitting to a high-impact open-access peer reviewed journal”. The next step he plans to take with his team is to deploy a prototype in the North Sea this summer. A 100-meter segment – or about 1/1000th of the planned array – will be set up about 20 kilometers off shore. Slat says The Ocean Cleanup prepared for this next phase of testing by conducting an environmental impact analysis with Royal HaskoningDHV. Then, early next year, the team plans to deploy a pilot off the coast of the Japanese island Tsushima, in the Korea Strait. Slat says he chose the location because of the large quantities of accumulated plastic due to ocean currents. But even after these technical studies, there will still be lot of uncertainties. The rope mooring systems cannot be properly tested off Tsushima, for example, because the depth doesn’t match that of the open ocean. And Slat admits that deploying something out in the middle of the ocean will be expensive to fix if something goes wrong. When it comes down to it, it could be that the biggest problem with the project is focusing on the gyre itself. “We generally applaud the motivation and energy of The Ocean Cleanup to tackle this problem,” says SEA Education Association research professor Kara Lavender Law. “[But] it’s more efficient to trap plastic as it’s coming away from its source rather than dispersed across large areas.” Even if the gyre cleanup were viable, says Law, it would be like “mopping up the bathroom floor without turning off the faucet to the tub”. Humans will continue to dump about 19bn pounds of plastic into the ocean each year. And as the larger pieces of plastic travel, they break down into microplastics that sink to the ocean floor and are much more difficult to clean up. Climate scientist and oceanographer Erik van Sebille has found that it can take up to 50 years to reach the garbage patches: “That means that even if we would clean up the garbage patches today, the garbage would return within a few decades, as the plastic that is currently spread across the ocean slowly accumulates again,” he wrote. Slat is undeterred, however. “The ocean garbage patches won’t disappear by themselves,” he says. “If you collect plastic closer to the source, the total mass that you remove may be larger, and the influx to the gyres would be reduced. Our focus however is on the necessary task of removing the plastic that already reached the gyres.” While it doesn’t have the same appeal as a giant passive structure that can help the ocean clean itself of plastic, Law notes that beach cleanups that get people to tidy up their own shores, like the International Coastal Cleanup, do make a difference. In 2014, the initiative collected more than 16m pounds of trash.

News Article | April 21, 2016

More than a year after Prime Minister David Cameron publicly announced support for the Perpetuus Tidal Energy Center (PTEC), Great Britain’s Marine Management Organization (MMO) issued a license on April 20 to Royal HaskoningDHV to deploy and operate a proposed 30-MW tidal array at the center, located off the Isle of Wight.

Groot A.,Royal HaskoningDHV
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility | Year: 2016

This paper describes an approach to standardizing proactive incident investigation to failed or impaired barriers and risk management. Whilst many will agree that the Oil and Gas (O&G) and process industries have been very successful in improving occupational safety, improvements in process safety management are lagging. Process Hazard Assessments has become a recognised tool to assess process design and production operations around the world even though they have a tendency to concentrate on the design phase only, rather than considering all aspects of the integrity of operating systems in the total life cycle of the asset. In response, barrier management based on the BowTie model is being widely promoted in the O&G industry to understand operational risk in more detail and influence potential results. The structured approach of the BowTie forces an assessment of how well all initial threats are being controlled and how well prepared the organisation is to mitigate consequences should things start to go wrong in the total life cycle of the asset. It highlights the direct link between the controls (preventive and corrective) and the management systems. But how can risk based on the performance of these process safety barriers be managed? In general barriers are not fully reliable. They have common causes of failure (i.e. human factor, organisational deficiencies, etc.), there are paradigm shifts in barrier expectations (i.e.shallow water vs deep water drilling) and multiple barriers are required to assure to acceptance level of risk. In the event of a major process safety incident, the scenario is investigated in-depth and the failures of the barriers are analysed by utilising methods such as 5-why, TRIPOD, SCAT, etc. The lessons learned include optimising barriers and defining missing barriers. From a preventive point of view, however, it is even more important to investigate failed barriers individually as Tier 3 or Tier 4 incidents as defined in the API-754. This paper reviews the process and results of such an effort. The author has utilised this method for O&G operating companies and discusses the lessons learned from this experience. Based on the results from this application, it is shown that the BowTie method in combination with incident analyses on barriers can be adapted for understanding and monitoring barrier performance and how to influence barrier performance. Copyright 2016, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

De Vos S.,Royal HaskoningDHV | Smits C.C.A.,Royal HaskoningDHV
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility | Year: 2016

Access to land is one of the crucial factors in the development process of a pipeline. Developing a sustainable relationship with stakeholders on a local and national scale is essential. This project element is seen as a major risk, since the reaction of stakeholders cannot be calculated or predicted. The consequences of stakeholders' protest can be devastating for the project's budget and schedule. Therefore the focus on prevention of grievances and stakeholder claims is evident. Preventing large numbers of grievances and stakeholders' claims from coming in, a collaborative stakeholder engagement approach needs to be implemented at the early stages of a pipeline project. A tailored approach to the local context will increase its success. As part of this approach expectations need to be managed and communication lines must be clear. Lack of consistent communication results in room for speculation, this will increase the risk of stakeholder claims. And even though not all technical information is final yet, stakeholder engagement needs to start. Drawing on experience from one of the largest pipeline developments on the European continent, this paper will provide recommendations on how a collaborative stakeholder engagement approach can be implemented, having a holistic view from preparation to construction to operation. Deciding on a clear message based on the available information per project phase is key. This asks for a seamless transition between project phases, but also for effective and transparent communication between different departments within a project's organisation. Furthermore this paper will elaborate on the two roles that effective data management can play: First, data management facilitates the communication between the Technical, Commercial and Land Easement & Acquisition (LEA) components of the project. Effective data sharing between these project components will enhance a successful response to stakeholders' concerns regarding the pipeline route, safety or compensation. Second, using big data (i.e. data available on the internet) to monitor and respond quickly to stakeholders who are voicing their concerns could prevent major stakeholder issues from materialising for your project development. Royal HaskoningDHV is developing and at the brink of implementing of a new application that will allow project proponents to use big data to signal stakeholders' concerns and respond to it. Looking at how internal alignment within the project organisation can positively influence external stakeholder management and taking an integrated approach is novel. Combined with the experience of effective data management systems and the development of an innovative application that uses big data to enhance stakeholder management practices will deliver new insights to the audience. Copyright 2016, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Smits C.C.A.,Royal HaskoningDHV | Huber E.,Royal HaskoningDHV
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility | Year: 2016

To supply the World's future energy demand, new areas such as the Arctic region are being explored to find oil and gas resources. Offshore Arctic oil and gas operations are to an increasing extent subject to global public opinion and scrutiny. Potential impacts can easily become a topic for discussion, locally and globally. This manuscript will explore the challenges and opportunities of a social license to operate for oil and gas activities in the Arctic. Building or re-building a sustainable, trustful relationship with local communities is crucial, as well as balancing the risks and benefits at a local level. However, the challenges for Arctic oil and gas activities do not only relate to the local level, but are intrinsically linked to the global level including the debate on climate change and the use of fossil fuels. At the same time, if the social license to operate of an Arctic project is under pressure, this can potentially affect the social license of not only a company but the entire oil and gas sector. The main challenge for oil companies that want to explore the Arctic is the strong link between their project's social license to operate and the political and legal licenses it needs to obtain. Pressure on the social license could alter the conditions or put on hold the political and sometimes even the legal licenses of an activity. Furthermore, the strong link between Arctic projects and the global level could potentially jeopardize the global success of the entire industry. Creating a level playing field in the fragmented governance of Arctic oil and gas activities is a challenge. Collaboration with local, national and international stakeholders, the use of social media, and a thorough understanding of a social license to operate and its influence on a project, company and the oil and gas sector is therefore paramount. This manuscript will use oil and gas development in Greenland as a case study to shed light on the mechanisms that link these licenses and what opportunities oil companies have to positively influence their social license to operate. This includes working on trustful local relationships via human capital development and using industry knowledge to connect to other stakeholders and work on the industry's image via social media. The Arctic is a pressure cooker, with the potential to quickly mobilise crowds at different levels of scale. The social license to operate of an Arctic project is strongly linked to other geographical scales and the reputation of the company/the sector it belongs to. Any lesson learned here can be applied to other parts of the World. Copyright 2016, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Cooper N.J.,Royal HaskoningDHV
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Maritime Engineering | Year: 2012

This article summarises a paper produced in 1958 by Raymond B. Porter, the then Chairman of the Northern Counties Association of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Porter's paper presented detailed information on the building of the Tyne piers. The relevance of key aspects of his paper to contemporary maritime civil engineers is discussed within this paper.

De Vos P.,Royal HaskoningDHV
22nd International Congress on Sound and Vibration, ICSV 2015 | Year: 2015

The new approach to railway noise in the Netherlands, introduced in 2012, is finally proving to be a success. The European developments have paved the way. In an historic overview, these developments are described briefly as key components of an integrated noise policy. Two additional elements of the approach are: economic incentives for freight wagon owners and freight operators on the one hand, and noise production ceilings on the other. The expected overall effect is that there will be sufficient noise capacity to allow traffic growth; residents will have proven reduction of their noise exposure and noise mitigation measures will be more cost efficient. The integrated approach could be exemplary to other fields of noise control, such as road traffic noise, particularly in times of economic crisis.

Driessen T.L.A.,Royal HaskoningDHV | Van Ledden M.,Royal HaskoningDHV
Drinking Water Engineering and Science | Year: 2013

The objective of this paper was to describe the impact of climate change on the Mississippi River flood hazard in the New Orleans area. This city has a unique flood risk management challenge, heavily influenced by climate change, since it faces flood hazards from multiple geographical locations (e.g. Lake Pontchartrain and Mississippi River) and multiple sources (hurricane, river, rainfall). Also the low elevation and significant subsidence rate of the Greater New Orleans area poses a high risk and challenges the water management of this urban area. Its vulnerability to flooding became dramatically apparent during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 with huge economic losses and a large number of casualties. A SOBEK Rural 1DFLOW model was set up to simulate the general hydrodynamics. This model included the two important spillways that are operated during high flow conditions. A weighted multi-criteria calibration procedure was performed to calibrate the model for high flows. Validation for floods in 2011 indicated a reasonable performance for high flows and clearly demonstrated the influence of the spillways. 32 different scenarios were defined which included the relatively large sea level rise and the changing discharge regime that is expected due to climate change. The impact of these scenarios on the water levels near New Orleans were analysed by the hydrodynamic model. Results showed that during high flows New Orleans will not be affected by varying discharge regimes, since the presence of the spillways ensures a constant discharge through the city. In contrary, sea level rise is expected to push water levels upwards. The effect of sea level rise will be noticeable even more than 470 km upstream. Climate change impacts necessitate a more frequent use of the spillways and opening strategies that are based on stages. © 2013 Author(s).

Visser G.A.,Royal HaskoningDHV
Engineering for Progress, Nature and People | Year: 2014

The Kingdom of Lesotho is faced with high levels of unemployment and poverty, especially in the rural areas. The local community at HA Mofutho near Quasha's Nek (Lesotho, Africa) was separated from health clinics, markets and employment by the Senqu River. Royal HaskoningDHV was appointed by the Kingdom of Lesotho's Ministry of Public Works and Transport and tasked with the design, and construction supervision of a footbridge to improve the lives of approximately 2,000 people affected by the costs and risks of crossing the Senqu River [1]. Sustainability was to be considered a high priority during the design, construction and maintenance phases, with the emphasis on the people component. In close co-operation with the client the following sustainable development opportunities were identified and realised through this project: • Construction management skills were transferred to the Roads Directorate's personnel, • Road Directorate staff were trained in service on site supervision, • Enterprise development: assisting the local contractor companies to improve their commercial and technical skill sets • Employment and training of local labour. The education, development and skills transfer that took place, together with co-operation and relationship-building with all major stakeholders will serve to equip the stakeholders and community to contribute significantly in future projects within the greater Lesotho area. In recognition of this project's contribution to co-operation and development, this footbridge was awarded the Walter Barnett Trophy (Overall Winner) and the Infrastructural and Community Development Category winner at the South African Hot Dip Galvanizing Awards 2013.

Boekelman S.,Royal HaskoningDHV
BHR Group - 15th International Symposium on Aerodynamics, Ventilation and Fire in Tunnels 2013 | Year: 2013

Additional results are: • Leakages in the escape route corridor contribute significantly to the required airflow (approximately 12%); • Pressurizing the entire corridor is not always necessary; • In some cases the system's behaviour appears to be more complicated than supposed because it depends heavily on pressure differences that occur; • Many scenarios can be looked at because simulation time for a 1D model is significantly less than for a 3D model. © BHR Group 2013.

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