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Illegal dumping not being tackled effectively

5 August, 2004

Sinn Fein Environment Spokesperson, South Down MLA Willie Clarke has expressed disbelief at the DoE's failure to close an illegal dump in County Armagh despite being told of its existence.

Mr Clarke said

"Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of household and industrial waste are being dumped illegally at sites throughout the Six Counties. It has now emerged that despite being informed of one such illegal dump the DoE continued to allow it to be used for 4 days. This is unbelievable incompetence on the part of the DoE and is a cause for real concern, which I will be raising with Direct Rule Minister Angela Smith.

"The insistence by Angela Smith that the DoE can cope with the current situation has a hollow ring to it and stricter legislation must be i ntroduced to tackle the widespread problem of illegal dumping which has made millionaires of a number of criminals. It is incredible, that trucks laden with waste can travel from the south of Ireland unhindered through heavily militarised border areas that are under constant surveillance. The British Government must start to take this issue seriously and prosecute the people responsible.

"Sinn Féin have proposed stripping away all powers of enforcement from the DoE and the creation of a single Environmental Protection Agency for the island. Dealing with the problems of waste management and illegal dumping must become a priority because in the coming years the problem will only get worse. Councils will face very difficult choices. Coming up with solutions on an all Ireland basis represents a common sense approach to a problem that will not be tackled if it is tackled by two different agencies." ENDS

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