ENVIRONMENT MINISTER Elliot Morley stressed the need for more civil engineers to tackle the problems of flooding and waste management when he received an honorary fellowship from the ICE last week.
Morley was awarded the title for his role in implementing fl ooding and waste management policies put forward by the institution.
In his acceptance speech, Morley praised the ICE for its 2001 report Learning to Live with Rivers, which he said 'marked a shift towards a more sustainable approach to river flows and nature'.
He added that the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs' recent report Making Space For Water was a development of the 2001 report to manage flooding.
He said recommendations from this latest report would allow some river flood defences to be removed to improve flow conditions upstream.
'There will also be some properties which will be indefensible. The question now is how to make these homes flood resilient'.
Morley also commented on the latest government ruling which could make planning permission for flood plain development schemes rejected by the Environment Agency more difficult to obtain.
Previously, planning authorities could still grant planning permission to such developments even if the Agency had opposed them.
'We're not saying you'll never be able to build on a fl ood plain, but in some cases it will be inappropriate and could increase the risk of fl ooding to others, ' Morley told NCE.
Morley has also worked closely with the ICE on waste treatment policy in the light of the European Landfill Directive. While he refused to back energy from waste schemes he said it was 'no riskier than landfilling'.
'There's a risk from all forms of waste treatment. But one thing is clear - minimisation is the best and landfi ling is the worst. Everything else falls in between'.
st president Douglas Oakervee presented the fellowship saying that Morley's 'tremendous command of civil engineering issues had made it feel like working with an engineer'.
Morley responded by saying he appreciated the important role of civil engineers in leading sustainable solutions to waste disposal and flooding problems.
'We need more civil engineers for waste [treatment facilities], coastal and flood defences, ports and airports - there's a huge investment from the public and private sector and we need skilled civil engineers to deliver them'.