Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has described the dumping of toxic waste at the River Ness outside Londonderry as totally irresponsible.
Eight Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) holding oily waste, dumped beside the river, were reported to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) on Thursday, May 21.
He said: “I have been keeping a very close eye on developments here. As soon as we became aware of the incident, NIEA acted immediately. Our contractors are on site to provide additional containment of the oily waste to ensure the river is protected.
“The River Ness is a contributory river to the River Faughan, which is popular with local anglers.
“I want to pay tribute to the River Faughan Anglers for their vigilance which enabled a swift response from statutory agencies.
“My officials are assessing what damage, if any, has been done to the river.
“Fuel laundering and the reckless dumping of the highly toxic waste products is totally irresponsible and very dangerous.
“It harms communities on a number of levels and shows a total disregard for the environment of Northern Ireland on which we all depend for our quality of life and livelihoods.
“The money spent on cleaning up after criminals could be much better spent in Northern Ireland to secure a better environment for the whole community.”