DIESEL RACKETEERS DUMPED SLUDGE AT BLAYNEY

15 April 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By PATSY McARDLE

A road in Mid-Monaghan a few miles from the South Armagh border was closed by Monaghan County Council environmental officials for some hours last Friday after the discovery of close on 4,500 litres of diesel sludge—the substance taken from diesel when laundered by racketeers to remove colouring so that it can fetch the higher price which is available for commercial fuel.
The tax-rebated cheaper coloured fuel is used solely for agricultural purposes.
The latest toxic dump was discovered on an isolated stretch of roadway at Annaglaive, about two miles from Castleblayney.
The sludge was believed to have come from a diesel laundering plant in the area and gardai along with Revenue officers launched a search operation in a bid to establish the location of the illicit plant.
A spokesman for Monaghan County Council said there was a marked increase in discoveries of toxic diesel sludge in the wider border region in recent months. The substance can be extremely hazardous and there was always a very high potential of serious contamination of the water supply when it was dumped near waterways.
He said that when cleared, the sludge has to be sent abroad to be incinerated, at massive costs to the local authority.
The sludge dumped at Annaglaive did not result in any seepage to streams or farms.
On Wednesday evening last Ballybay fire brigade accompanied by environment officers from Monaghan County Council and council outdoor staff removed 2,500 litres of wash residue from the L40231 county road in Drumcunnion, Bawn on the Cavan border.
The waste material from both sites was subsequently taken to the quarantine area at Scotch Corner landfill pending repackaging and eventual export to mainland Europe for treatment.
It is estimated that the total cost of dealing with these 2 incidents of diesel wash dumping will be in the region of €10,000.
Monaghan County Council again calls on the general public to help protect the Environment by helping to identify those involved so that appropriate action can be taken to stamp out this behaviour and ensure our limited resources are used to the maximum particularly in these increasingly difficult economic times. Anyone with any information on these incidents is asked to contact the Gardai in Carrickmacross on 042 9661222 or Castleblayney on 042-9740668.

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