FUEL RACKETEERS STRIKE AGAIN

10 February 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By PATSY McARDLE

CROSS-BORDER fuel racketeers made a further environmental strike near the South Armagh Border in Mid-Monaghan early on Tuesday when they dumped more than 1,000 litres of diesel sludge in two containers on roads at Annyalla and Creighanroe, a few miles from Castleblaynery.
Gardai sealed off both routes while Monaghan county council emergency services moved in to clear the area and prevent the toxic sludge from seeping into waterways or adjacent roadside farmlands.
It was the third major sludge dumping in the Border area within the past three weeks.
Gardai believe the sludge was moved to the Republic from a diesel laundering “depot” in the North where the tax-rebated fuel is doctored with chemicals to remove colouring so that it can be sold for the higher price as top grade commerciol fuel.
During the past year, both Monaghan and Louth county councils have been forced to spend more than €4.1 million in clearing away the toxic sludge after illicit dumping operations at border locations.
An environment section spokesman at Monaghan county council said there are real fears that some of the dumped sludge could pose a huge pollution threat to waterways if it remained undetected for any great length of time.
Last week a special Oireachtas Committee discussed the problem and Cavan/Monaghan Fine Gael T.D. Sean Conlan said the government and Revenue Commissioners are currently awaiting new legislation and are exploring new measures and controls to restrict the availability of tax rebated diesel to prevent “doctoring” by the racketeers.
“This is posing a very serious environmental problem for border communities,” he added.

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