Court Report Summer 2017

Farmers fined in connection to Fermanagh fish kill

Two farmers from Fermanagh have been fined at Omagh Magistrates’ Court in connection to a fishkill in which over 190 fish were found dead.

One of them pleaded guilty to making a polluting discharge to a waterway, and was fined £750 and ordered to pay fish costs of £885.60

In a separate case connected to the same fishkill incident, a second farmer also pleaded guilty and was fined £750 and ordered to pay fish costs of £354 for making a polluting discharge to a water way.

The court heard that Water Quality Inspectors (WQIs), acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) inspected a tributary of the Ballinmallard River and observed a discharge of strong smelling effluent entering the waterway via concrete pipework. The waterway appeared clean and clear of any pollution above this discharge. The discharge was traced to farm premises owned by one of the defendants.

The WQIs also traced a discharge to farm premises owned by the second defendant. Investigation revealed silage effluent escaping through a hole in PVC piping used to take silage effluent to a holding tank.

Upon further investigation 189 native brown trout were noted dead in the main Ballinmallard River down to below Ballinapaste Bridge, along with a number of dead stoneloach, minnows and crayfish.

Samples taken at the time of the incident confirmed that
the discharges contained poisonous, noxious or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.

 

 


Company, Its Manager And Land Owner Fined £8,000 For Waste Offences

A waste management company, its manager and landowner were fined a total of £8,000 at Newry Crown Court for a series of fuel laundering waste offences (following guilty pleas at a previous hearing in January 2017).

The court was told that officers from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, HMRC and the PSNI visited a site near Crossmaglen where they uncovered significant quantities of fuel laundering waste, deliberately hidden under genuine waste within a shed on the company’s premises. This shed was 25 metres away from a primary school playing field.

Documentation was subsequently received by the NIEA to show that the company had paid over £4,000 to have the approximately 14 tonnes of waste sent to an authorised site.

An NIEA spokesperson said: “This represents a significant positive outcome insofar as the law has been upheld and convictions secured. However, importantly, the offending waste has also been removed at the expense of the defendants. This means that the environment has been protected without significant cost to the taxpayer.”

 

 

 


Scrap Dealer Guilty Of Waste Offences

A man who was operating an unlicensed scrap yard in Ballymoney has been found guilty of waste offences.

The 55 year old was convicted of two charges at Coleraine Magistrates’ Court where he was given a five-month suspended sentence, suspended for three years

In March 2015, officers of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s Environmental Crime Section visited an unlicensed scrap yard at Tullaghgore Road in Ballymoney. Following a brief inspection, a notice was issued to remove the waste within six months.

When they returned in March 2015, NIEA inspectors found 23 scrap vehicles on the site – classed as hazardous waste material. In addition, the site had a wide range of scrap metal including car doors and panels, engines, alloy wheels, radiators, fencing, angle iron and a kitchen sink.

 

 

 


Trillick Farmer Fined For Polluting Waterway

A Fermanagh farmer has pleaded guilty and has been fined £500, plus £15 Offender Levy, at Omagh Magistrates’ Courtfor making a polluting discharge to a waterway.

The court was told that Water Quality Inspectors, acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), inspected a tributary of the Ballinamallard River and observed a growth of sewage fungus in the waterway. The discharge of silage effluent to the waterway was traced to farm premises owned by the defendant.

A sample taken at the time of the incident 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.