Tyrone Times article sparks fresh probe into illegal dumping
A FRESH investigation into the illegal dumping of foul-smelling waste at a Moy pear orchard has been prompted after angry residents and landowners contacted the Tyrone Times.
Two weeks ago a load of foul smelling sludge was dumped along a Moy roadside leading to health fears for local residents.
A large quantity of the obnoxious sludge was sprayed into a pear orchard, causing concern for the grower.
At the time, officers from the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency visited the site but did not take away a sample for testing.
A DOE spokesperson had said the waste appeared consistent with vegetable processing.
However, local residents criticised the NIEA’s handling of the incident. They complained that the agency should have taken a sample for testing to determine the precise source of the waste, which they allege is from animals.
Following coverage in the Tyrone Times and queries to the DOE, the NIEA revisted the site last Friday and this time took away a sample for testing.
A local resident welcomed the new move, but said that a lot of the waste had been washed away by the rain.
“Unfortunately, it is a little late now, after two weeks have elapsed”, he said.
“We hope that there will be enough evidence in the sample to determine where the waste came from and to prevent this happening to other landowners.
“If the NIEA believe a crime has been committed then they should investigate and seek to prosecute those responsible.
“The sludge created a dreadful smell, far worse than the ordinary farmyard smell of slurry.
“It is clearly some sort of toxic waste, and has raised concerns for the local environment as well as for human health.
“The farmer who owns the field is deeply concerned about the safety of his pear crop, and schoolchildren and pedestrians who use the road are also worried about the health implications.
“Parents in the area have described how children have come in with clothes that were stinking.”
A DOE spokesman said: “The NIEA Environmental Crime Unit (ECU) will further investigate the site of alleged disposal of sludge (i.e. where the waste was allegedly deposited).
“It is not always necessary or appropriate to obtain samples for specialist analysis – often visual inspection by experienced officers is sufficient.
“An inspection will take place and this will determine what further action may be required – this will take into account all information in relation to the allegation.
“Dealing with the alleged disposal of waste by means of legal action has to be prioritised by NIEA dependant of the likely environmental risk, the seriousness of the offending and the investigatory resource available.”
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Weather for Dungannon
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North