Court Report Spring 2016

Confiscation Order Against Skip Hire Operators

The woners of a County Down skip company have been made the subject of a £47,367.40 confiscation order for waste offences at Downpatrick Crown Court.

The court heard that on 27 March 2015, one of the owners was found guilty on three counts of breaching the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997. The other pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching the above mentioned order on 26 March 2015 and was found guilty of a further two charges on 27 March 2015.

Their offences related to the unlicensed treating, keeping and depositing of controlled wastes. The defendants have until 10 May 2016 to pay the order.

 


Co. Armagh man Subject of £50,000 confiscation order

A 52 year old Crossmaglen man has been made the subject of a £50,000 confiscation order at Newry Crown Court for waste offences.

The original order made had been for £100,000, but this was reduced to £50,000 when the court was told that the latter amount represented the total of his realisable assets.

The accused was granted six months to pay the confiscation order, with a 14 month prison sentence to be served in default of payment.

 


Businessman fined £2,000 for waste offences

The owner of a plant hire company has been fined £2,000 at Lisburn Magistrates’ Court for breaches of waste management legislation.

The court was told that when Northern Ireland Environment Agency officers investigated a site in Lambeg they found large quantities of controlled waste made up of concrete, brick, timber and plastics, which had been sold to the landowner as recycled aggregate for building works, at a cost of over £5,000.

However, the material supplied did not meet the required standard of the Aggregates Protocol and was therefore still legally a waste.

 


Co Down businessman fined £3,000 for pollution offence

A Co Down business man pleaded guilty and was fined a total of £3,000, plus court costs of £25 and an Offenders Levy of £15 at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court for making polluting discharges to a waterway.

The court heard that on 4 February 2015 Water Quality Inspectorsacting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) inspected the Enler River at its confluence with the Ballystockart River and observed that it was grossly polluted.

The Inspectors traced the source of the pollution to premises owned by the defendant. It was observed that sludge had been spread on the fields and had run off into the waterway.

On 6 February 2015 an Inspector, acting on behalf of NIEA again observed pollution in the Enler River at its confluence with the Ballystockart River. The discharge was traced upstream to property and premises owned by the defendant.

A brown coloured liquid, believed to be vegetable processing waste water was observed flowing off the fields into the waterway. It was observed that the waterway above these premises was clear.

A sample taken on 6 February 2015 confirmed that the discharge contained high Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Total Ammonia and Suspended Solids content.

In excess of 2.5 kilometres of waterway was impacted by the discharges.

 


Co Tyrone farmer fined £2,000

A Co Tyrone farmer pleaded guilty and was fined £2,000 plus Court Costs and £15 Offenders Levy at Dungannon Magistrates Court for making a polluting discharge to a waterway which is part of the Ballinderry River system.

Water Quality Inspectors, acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, told the court that when they inspected the Aghaveagh Stream at Drumard Road they observedthe waterway to be grey/brown in colour and smelling strongly of an agricultural nature. The Inspectors discovered a dark coloured liquid discharging to the waterway.

The pollution was caused when tanks on the farm overflowed, allowing effluent to enter the storm drainage system before making its way to the waterway. More than 600 metres was affected by this polluting discharge. The source of the pollution was traced to farm premises owned by the defendant.

A sample 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

 


Tandragee farmers fined a total of £1,500

Two Co Armagh farmers pleaded guilty and were each fined £750 at Armagh Magistrates’ Court for making apolluting discharge to a waterway.

The court heard that when Water Quality Inspectors inspected the Cusher River they observed fungus growing on the bed of the waterway.

The pollution was caused by silage effluent which had leaked from the silage clamp which resulted in the effluent entering the waterway below the farm causing it to be visibly polluted for a distance of more than 800 meters. The discharges were found to contain poisonous, noxious or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.

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