Durkan demure on pollution culpability


Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan refused to be drawn on who was responsible for the pollution of a stream adjacent to the City Waste site at Mobuoy saying it was a ultimately a matter for the courts to decide.

Green MLA Steven Agnew asked the Minister who was responsible for the pollution of the tributary, which was first reported in this paper last July.
But Mr Durkan responded: “The pollution emanating from the landfill at Mobuoy Road is subject to criminal proceedings and due process. It will ultimately be a matter for the courts to determine responsibility for the pollution being caused.”

Last July Mr Durkan’s predecessor Alex Attwood confirmed pollution had been detected in a tributary of the Faughan just hundreds of metres upstream from where the Carmoney treatment plant extracts drinking water for 50,000 people in Londonderry.

But he insisted the Faughan hadn’t been polluted.

Now Mr Durkan has claimed the Faughan hasn’t been ‘significantly’ polluted, stating: “NIEA is undertaking environmental monitoring of the water quality in rivers upstream, in the middle of and downstream from the site, including the River Faughan, with samples being collected on a monthly basis and the watercourse being visually inspected weekly. No significant pollution has been identified in the River Faughan.

“There has been some pollution in the local stream adjacent to the site. However, a visual inspection by NIEA staff in April noted that this has receded. This may be due in part to the works undertaken to remove leachate or it may also be due to low levels of rainfall causing lower levels of infiltration at the site.”