Toxic dumping continues
Tuesday, 15 October 2013
THREE cubes of what appears to be the toxic by-product of the diesel laundering process have been dumped along a country road in Forkhill.
One of the containers, discovered on the Tievecrom Road, appeared to have been damaged during the process and was leaking poisonous sludge into a nearby field.
The discovery comes just days after a multi-agency meeting in Newry and Mourne Council on diesel laundering was told that such incidents were on a downward trend.
The meeting, held last week, was the third such meeting between the council, the PSNI, Revenue and Customs, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), the Department of Justice, councillors, MLAs and MPs to discuss the problem of toxic dumping in the area.
At the meeting the NIEA held a presentation that showed such dumping in the district, while still a problem, was on a downward trend.
The presentation showed that the amount of waste dumped in the district per month had dropped dramatically from a high of over 200 tons in January to around just 10 tons last month.
The Mullaghduff Road in Cullyhanna continues to be the area most affected by dumping with 15 incidents in as many months over the past year.
However, the Tievecrom Road, where this latest incident occurred, is also one of the worst affected areas with six previous incidents in the past 15 months.
Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy, who attended the meeting, said it was too early to tell if the recent drop in incidents represented a downward trend or a temporary lull in activity.
“Revenue and Customs informed us at the meeting that they are now taking three major steps towards tackling this activity," the Sinn Fein MP said.
“They are going to push for tougher sentences for those caught engaging in this type of activity.
“They are on the verge of releasing a new, tamper proof dye that will be much more difficult to launder.
“They are also bringing in measures to target the fuel traders who are selling diesel to launderers, and that will be a cross border initiative."
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