A NEW deadline for the Cardiff Bay Barrage operators to revise operating procedures or drain the new lake behind the Barrage has been set by the Environment Agency.
The Barrage's sluices have remained closed since 10 December following the Agency's suspension of the 'disimpoundment directive' it issued on 3 December (NCE last week). The Agency is concerned over the Barrage's emergency operating procedures at times of high flood risk.
Its change of heart came after Cardiff Bay DevelopmentCorporation proposed alternative operating procedures, including 24 hour manual control of the sluices, and undertook to carry out equipment tests.
But the Agency has only given CBDC until 14 January to complete the tests and satisfy itthat the procedures are safe. It is also insisting that the water levels behind the Barrage are lowered by 500mm until further notice.
A CBDC spokesman said the Barrage had coped very well with a combination of a very high tide on Christmas Eve and high flows down the rivers feeding the lake behind it. 'The coastal defence function of the Barrage is working as planned,' he added.