Remediation strategies for the Mobuoy Road illegal waste site could cost between £20m and £100m.
Removal, containment and on site treatment of the waste at the site have been proposed as possible remediation options.
Following a question from UUP MLA Harold McKee about the site, DUP Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Michelle McIlveen revealed that the environmental risk assesment at the site was now complete.
Minister McIlveen said the next stage in the Mobuoy Remediation Strategy at the 47 hectare site is “to develop a costed remediation strategy detailing the remediation treatments that must be implemented at the site to meet clean up targets and thus protect the River Faughan and the wider environment.”
She said the work is due to begin this month, and is expected to be completed “by the end of Spring 2017”.
The Mobuoy Road illegal waste site consists of the City Industrial Waste (CIW) and Campsie Sand & Gravels (CSG) sites, separated by the Mobuoy Road. CIW covers an area of c. 14 hectares, with CSG approximately 33 hectares.
The estimated volume of controlled waste illegally disposed at the Mobuoy illegal waste site is reported to be a minimum of 913,105m3. An estimated additional 252,050m3 of controlled waste is present in the area of the former licensed landfill, some of which has been deposited illegally.
Minister McIlveen added the removal of waste is only one of three remediation options available.
The second option is containment using a capping system, incorporating gas management and hydraulic barriers and controls, and the third option is on site treatment that may involve one or more treatments such as physical segregation and recycling, composting and recovery.
“At this stage, best case and worst case cost estimates have been provided for each remediation option. The minimum estimated costs, in the region of £20m, reflect those for the containment option. The maximum estimated costs are for the excavation and disposal option, and are in excess of £100m,” wrote the Minister.
“The Environmental Crime Unit (ECU) has overseen extensive and complex criminal and financial investigations into the activities at the Mobuoy Road.
“The prosecution case has been before the courts for some considerable time now, and is yet to reach a conclusion.
“As such, I can provide no further detail at this time, on either the work carried out by ECU or the associated prosecutions,” the Minister added.