Court Report Autumn 2016

Co Londonderry company fined £4,000 for discharge to waterway

An Eglinton, Co Londonderry company has been fined a total of £4,000 and £15 Offender Levy at Londonderry Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that on 22 May 2015 a Water Quality Inspector (WQI), acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) responded to a report of pollution and inspected a tributary of the River Faughan.

They observed the bed of the waterway to be covered in fresh fungus. The inspectors then entered a lane at the company’s yard and observed water entering a grating at the end of the lane. A smell of silage effluent was detected.

The WQI checked the drain at the inspection point closest to the yard and detected the smell of silage effluent from the water flowing through this point.

A sample taken confirmed that the discharge contained poisonous, noxious or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.

A dye test confirmed the discharge from the inspection point where the sample had been collected was making its way to the waterway.
The court was told that on 21 October 2015 the WQI  again inspected the waterway at the company’s site where there was still a strong smell of silage effluent from the water and fungus on the bed of the waterway.

 


Man pleads guilty to waste offences

A Newry man has faced three charges of keeping waste not in accordance with a waste management licence.

The court was told that when officers from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency visited the accused’s  site on three separate occasions they  observed waste being stored not in accordance with a Waste Management Licence.

He was convicted under article 4(1)b of the Waste and Contaminated Land (NI) Order 1997 and received £1,000 fine plus offender levy for the first charge and conditional discharge for the further two charges.

 


Coleraine Dairy and Ballymena Building firm fined for waste offences

A Coleraine Dairuy and a building firm in Ballymena have been fined £4,500 and £2,000 respectively at Coleraine Magistrates’ Court for infilling waste in a field close to the dairy’s premises.

Officers from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency between January 2014 and May 2015 disclosed 5,651 tonnes of clay, construction and demolition waste infilled, alongside plastics, metals and timber, without the proper authorisations.

The building company subsequently cleared the waste they were responsible for from the site to the court’s satisfaction.

 


Tyrone businessman fined for breach of notice

A Co Tyrone businessman has been fined a total of £5,100 in his absence in Omagh Magistrates’ Court for contravening the conditions of a discharge consent issued by the Department and for failing to comply with the requirements of an Enforcement Notice.

The court heard that on 19 January 2015, a Water Quality Inspector (WQI) acting on behalf of the Department carried out a site visit to in Newtownstewart to verify that work had been carried out to install a sample point on the site.

The WQI confirmed the design of the sampling point was not adequate to allow a representative sample to be collected. On 12 October 2015, an Article 12 Enforcement Notice was issued which required the site to become compliant by 7 December 2015. Further visits on 6 January 2016 and 21 March 2016 confirmed that the work had not been completed and, therefore, the site was not compliant with the consent conditions and the Article 12 Notice had been breached.

 


Ardmore builders fined £250 for waste offending

A Londonderry building contractor has been fined £250 (and an offender levy of £15) for breaching waste management legislation.

The court heard that when officers from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency visited the contractors site they found quantities of construction and demolition waste deposited there.

The company did not hold the relevant waste management licence or an exemption to deposit or keep waste at this location.

 


Caused discharge from septic tank to enter a waterway

A County Armagh businessman pleaded guilty and was fined £500 at Armagh Magistrates’ Court for causing regular unconsented discharges of sewage effluent from his premises to enter the nearby Callan River.

The court was told that on 24 January 2013, a Water Quality Inspector (WQI) acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) responded to a report of pollution in relation to the defendant’s business premises. There was a strong smell of sewage coming from the chambers at the premises, synonymous with untreated sewage and septic tank effluent. On 2 March 2015 at 11:10, tracing dye was added to a sewer manhole leaving the premises and dye was then observed in the first, second and the third chambers of the septic tank.

At 11:25 dye was observed entering the Callan River from the septic tank serving the man’s premises. There was a grey coloured sewage fungus growth present where this discharge was running into the Callan River. Unregulated sewage discharges adversely affect the aquatic environment, also if these discharges are not adequately treated, can escalate into a public health issue.


Business fined for causing polluting discharge

A Magherafelt businessman has been fined £500 after Water Quality Inspectors (WQIs), acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), inspected an unnamed waterway and observed that it was grey-white in colour.

On further investigation the WQIs observed a pink-coloured liquid discharging from a concrete pipe and entering the waterway. This pink-coloured liquid was creating a grey-white coloured plume in the waterway. The source of the discharge was traced to a drain in a paint spray booth on the businessman’s premises.

The court heard that tracing dye was added to the drain in the paint spray booth and minutes later the dye was observed actively discharging from the concrete pipe.
*Anyone wishing to report a pollution incident can call the 24 hour Water Pollution Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.