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Sludge cleanup criticised

AN URGENT review into how the toxic waste from fuel laundering dumped along the side of our roads is cleaned has been called for following a number of unsatisfactory clean-up operations recently

SDLP Councillor Thomas O’Hanlon revealed that he has raised the issue with Environment Minister Alex Attwood MLA and has asked the Council to also formally write to the Minister on the issue as well.

Speaking at Monday night’s Council Meeting, Councillor O’Hanlon explained: “Since July of this year the operational responsibility for clearing up the sites where fuel laundering waste has been dumped has transferred from Council to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

“In recent years we have seen a massive surge in the number of dumping incidents and our first condemnation must be of those responsible for this crime. They are irresponsible idiots with no care for the community or the environment where they dump this sludge.

“However in recent weeks I have become increasingly concerned about the standard of the clean-up operations being carried out on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.  Instead of the site being cleared immediately it can take a week or ten days and when the clean-up is complete, it isn’t half done.

“I have written to Alex Attwood as Environment Minister and have raised my concerns and I have also asked the Council to raise the issue as well.”

Cllr O’Hanlon concluded: “In recent weeks the Minister has launched a new initiative in partnership with Crimestoppers and the Department of Justice as efforts are stepped up to stop the dumping in the first place, however when dumping does occur, then the site needs to be cleared swiftly and properly.”

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