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Armagh company fined £2,000 over pollution which led to major Callan River fish kill

The pollution incident - which was noted over a 3km stretch near Milford - was classed as 'high severity' due to the distance and 'significant number of fish mortalities'

Fish kill River Callan
Images taken at the time of the fish kill on the Callan River in June 2018

An Armagh company has been fined £2,000 after a major fish kill on the Callan River, near Milford.

Callan Renewables Ltd pleaded guilty and were also ordered to pay a £15 offenders levy at Armagh Magistrates’ Court sitting in Newry today (Monday).

A compensation order of £2,836 to cover the fish restocking costs was made.

At the time it was reported that over 1,000 brown trout and 100 salmon had been killed.

The court was told that between June 11 and 15, 2018 a senior water quality inspector and colleagues acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency responded to a report of pollution and dead fish present in a tributary of the Callan River in the Milford area.

This incident was classified as ‘high severity’ due to the distance impacted by the pollution and the significant number of fish mortalities.

On arrival the inspectors observed power washing activity on the yard at the front of the silage clamps.

The power washing run-off was flowing onto an uncovered yard area where storm gullies were located.

Due to the staining on the ground and power washing activity, a spill from the plant had occurred.

The inspectors noted the dark coloured liquid had entered the storm drains.

The inspectors discovered a black plastic pipe actively discharging a foul smelling liquid and this liquid was flowing in a sheugh below an access lane in the direction of the Monaghan Road.

The inspectors entered the site where they discovered a chamber containing liquid similar in appearance to the liquid that was discharging from the black plastic pipe.

In accordance with NIEA enforcement policy and procedure, statutory samples of the discharges entering the unnamed tributary of the Callan River were collected on June 13 and 14, 2018.

The waterway was observed to be impacted for a distance of 3km.

The samples taken at the time of the incident had high biochemical oxygen demands with high total ammonia,

Suspended solids and chloride contents confirmed that the discharge contained poisonous, noxious or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.

Anyone wishing to report a pollution incident can call the 24 hour Water Pollution Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

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