DAERA issues warning to '˜Anonymous North West

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is warning people against entering a dump site near the Muoyboy Road in Derry.

Wednesday, 24th August 2016, 3:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th August 2016, 5:10 pm
'Anonymous North West' pictured in Derry at the weekend.

DAERA issued the warning a group of people, calling themselves ‘Anonymous North West’, started cleaning up the dump site on their own at the weekend.

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‘Anonymous’ weigh in over Mobuoy dumping ground

‘Anonymous’ is a loosely associated international network of activist and hackivist entities. A website nominally associated with the group describes it as ‘an Internet gathering’ with ‘a very loose and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives’.

'Anonymous North West' pictured at the weekend.

In a detailed statement earlier this week, ‘Anonymous North West’ said they were concerned about how the waste at the site could impact upon the local water supply but DAERA said there was no evidence to suggest the water supply had been affected.

“Extensive monitoring of the Mobuoy Road waste site has shown no evidence of any adverse impact on either the water quality of the drinking water supply to Londonderry or to the water quality of the River Faughan. The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) remains vigilant in this respect and is continuing to work closely with NI Water to ensure that all necessary safeguards continue to be in place,” said a DAERA spokesperson.

“Over the past three years, NIEA has spent £1.2 million in remediation measures at the City Industrial Waste Site. This has included removing leachate, completing an extensive risk assessment of the waste site and managing surface water run-off where necessary. It also includes an assessment of the risks in protecting water quality of the River Faughan which will report in autumn 2016.

“The latter outcome will determine the level of clean-up that the remediation needs to achieve to protect water quality in the river. These clean-up targets will inform the further evaluation of potential remediation options and the development of a site remediation strategy over the coming months. The development of this strategy will consider all viable options including the removal of the waste and the associated environmental and health and safety issues. The remediation strategy will be subsequently implemented using the principles of ‘polluter pays’. However, it should be emphasised that this will be a very complex and time-consuming project,” the spokesperson added.

'Anonymous North West' pictured at the weekend.

DAERA advised everyone, including ‘Anonymous North West’, not to enter the waste site as they do not hold the “proper authorisation” and could be prosecuted for trespassing.

“We would strongly discourage anyone from any kind of involvement at the Mobuoy Road waste site. There are a number of significant factors in doing so:

“Dealing with illegal controlled waste or any other landfill site requires strict health and safety measures. There are risks, for example, of harmful gasses arising and leachates migrating, particularly when the ground is disturbed. Added to this is the potential for unintentional harm to the environment through interference with pollution pathways which are already being monitored. Anyone with information on movement of controlled waste at this site should contact NIEA directly.

“In order to deal with any controlled wastes, those involved will need to hold proper authorisations, such as being a registered carrier of waste and/or the holder of a waste management licence. Without proper authorisation, offences under Articles 4 & 5 of the Waste & Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 may be committed.

“There are further matters of potential trespass arising.”

Details of the steps taken by NIEA and previous assurances are available on the Mobuoy stakeholders website at https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/mobuoy-road-waste-project