The government may prioritse specific remediation works at an illegal dump in Derry to allow for the planned A6 dualling works, it has emerged.
In response to questions by Foyle SDLP MLA, Mark H Durkan, the Head of NI Civil Service David Sterling said that various departments were currently looking into the matter.
Mr Durkan has called for the estimated £50m remediation works to be made a priority after meeting officials from the NI Environment Agency at the Mobuoy site.
“While I compliment the NIEA on its approach to managing and monitoring the situation here, it is evident that major investment is required to eradicate the risk of major environmental damage in the future and associated risk to public health and wellbeing,” Mr Durkan said.
“It is also my understanding that the preferred A6 route (Drumahoe – Maydown) passes through the site and that any progress of this stretch of road will be hampered should the works required to mitigate against potential environmental risk not to be carried out.”
Responding, Mr Sterling said that protecting public health and water quality in the River Faughan, the main source of drinking water locally, was “a key priority”.
Mr. Sterling said it was important to have an agreed approach for Mobuoy with the Department of Infrastructure and NI Water “and this is currently in development”, with a detailed business case under way.
“Both my Department and DfI Roads are currently working to identify any potential elements of the waste remediation scheme that would be beneficial to complete in advance of constructing the A6 dualling scheme (recognising funding is currently only available for the Dungiven to Drumahoe Section),” he said.
Funding for the remediation work is subject to Department of Finance approval.