The Department of the Environment (DoE) won’t confirm or deny a claim the quantity of illegal waste estimated to have been dumped at Mobuoy Road is now closer to 1million tonnes than the 500,000 tonnes originally projected.
The DoE also wouldn’t be drawn on what implications this would have for the remediation costs, which under the more conservative tonnage had been put at a potential £100m.
Ross Brown, a Green Party Councillor from Belfast, claimed: “NIEAs latest estimate for size illegal dump at Campsie up from 500,000 tonnes to a staggering 1million tonnes of waste.”
But when the Sentinel asked the DoE for its latest estimates it said the waste site was still under review.
“The Mobuoy Road waste project reports are currently under review by the DoE and thereafter will be finalised and issued to the Department as Final reports,” a spokesperson told the paper.
“The estimated volume of waste at the Mobuoy waste sites will be confirmed further on receipt of the Final project reports,” the spokesperson added.
In terms of the cost of the clean-up, the spokesperson said: “The remediation costs will take full account of the estimated volumes of waste as reported in the Final project reports.”
Back in June a report by the Criminal Justice Inspectorate said that the illegal dumping uncovered at Mobuoy Road was “a sophisticated operation” that amounted to “large scale organised criminality” and could end up costing the taxpayer £100m to clean-up.
At the time DUP Alderman Maurice Devenney said: “I welcome this report, but it is too little too late for the people who reside beside the largest illegal dump in the UK at Mobuoy, County Londonderry.”