Construction BUSINESS

Rescuing County Derry’s Environment: A £700 Million Challenge

 Breaking News

Rescuing County Derry’s Environment: A £700 Million Challenge

Rescuing County Derry’s Environment: A £700 Million Challenge
February 27
10:04 2024

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) in County Derry faces a potential financial catastrophe as the cost to rectify environmental damage at the illegal Mobuoy dump site may skyrocket to £700 million, according to the 2022/23 accounts. The site, closed in 2013, is suspected to contain hazardous waste totalling 1.6 million tonnes, including construction and domestic materials. Situated near the River Faughan, a crucial water source for Derry, the contaminated dump raises serious concerns.

Daera Minister Andrew Muir revealed during an Assembly session that there is currently “no agreed preferred option” for the site’s remediation. The comptroller and auditor general to the Assembly, Dorinnia Carville, disagreed, noting in the annual accounts that the conditions for accounting for remediation costs are met. A proposed option with an estimated cost of £107 million, though considered reliable, could result in a departmental overspend exceeding £89 million, causing a clash of opinions and delaying the annual accounts report.

Daera outlines plans to reassess the Mobuoy situation in its financial statements for the year ending March 31, 2024, promising early engagement with the audit office. The Mobuoy site is currently under extensive environmental monitoring, including regular water testing due to its proximity to the River Faughan.

In March 2023, consultants appointed by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency presented various options for remediating the Mobuoy site, ranging from waste removal to capping large areas. Urgency is emphasised by Mark Durkan, an SDLP assembly member, who describes the situation as a “ticking time bomb,” emphasising the need for prompt action. Two individuals pleaded guilty in September 2022 to charges related to unauthorised waste disposal at Mobuoy, awaiting sentencing and adding complexity to resolving this environmental crisis.

Source: BBC

About Author



Related Articles

Constrcution Summit

The Magazine – Construction Business

The Magazine – Construction Summit – 2023

The Magazine – Construction Summit – 2024

New Subscriber

    Subscribe Here