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Company fined £15,000 for pollution offence

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A Dunmurry business was fined a total of £15,000 plus Court Costs at Limavady Magistrates’ Court today.

Northstone (NI) Ltd of Kingsway, Dunmurry, Co Antrim was fined for making a polluting discharge and for making a discharge in contravention of the Department’s consent conditions.

On 24 November 2014, Water Quality Inspectors, acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency responded to a complaint of sand washings in the River Roe in the Dungiven area. The source of the polluting discharge was traced to the Northstone site at Murnies Sandpit Crebarkey, Dungiven.

A sample taken on 9 December 2014 confirmed that the discharge contained polluting matter which would have been potentially harmful to aquatic life in a receiving waterway.

The Department’s consent to discharge states that the suspended solids content of the effluent should not exceed 50 milligrammes per litre. The effluent failed to comply with this requirement and was, therefore, unsuitable for discharge.

The analysis shows that the sample had a suspended solids level of 9,800 milligrammes per litre; this level of suspended solids over a sustained period of time would have a serious impact on the fish life in the waterway.

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