A Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) expert has confirmed a draft costed remediation strategy for the Mobuoy dump is now with the department, which is preparing it for publication and public consultation.
Dr. Theresa Kearney, a scientist at the NIEA, made the revelation during a briefing of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Environment and Regneration Committee this week
She also advised that a risk assessment of the dump found “specific contaminant linkages that pose a potential future risk to water quality within the River Faughan”.
Boreholes, however, did not indicate “significant concentrations of contaminants close to the river”, while the risk to NI Water’s tap water abstraction point was deemed to be “very low”.
She confirmed a draft remediation strategy scheduled for completion between January 2017 ad October 2017 has now been largely completed but couldn’t give an exact timeframe for works and delivery.
SDLP councillor, Gus Hastings, said the dump was an “unmitigated disaster”, not just for the surroundings but for the whole city, given the Faughan’s role as a source of drinking water. But he said he was pleased “we are now moving in the right direction”.
Independent unionist councillor Maurice Devenney, however, expressed doubts over the NIEA and NI Water’s assertion there had been no detrimental impact on water quality,
Referring to the council’s £7.5m remediation of the old Culmore landfill, he said: “We’ve spent hundreds of thousands of pounds onpreventing contamination of the Foyle there, so I would question the water quality. If we’ve spent so much on Culmore, and nothing’s been spent at Mobuoy?”