Farmer fined £650 for causing pollution

editorial image

A Co Londonderry farmer has been in court in relation to a pollution incident.

Robert Duncan from Ballymoghan Road, Magherafelt, was convicted and fined £650, plus £15 offender levy, at Magherafelt Magistrates’ Court for making a polluting discharge to a waterway.

On 11 June 2015, Water Quality Inspectors (WQIs), acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), inspected the Coppies Burn at Magherafelt and observed the presence of agricultural effluent in the waterway. The source of the polluting discharge was traced to a farm owned by Duncan.

On the farm the inspectors discovered a valve had been left open which resulted in the effluent escaping and making its way into the pipe work and from there to the Coppies Burn.

The waterway was impacted for a distance of 3.2 kilometres resulting in the death of more than 880 native brown trout.

A sample taken at the time of the incident confirmed that the discharge contained poisonous, noxious or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.

Anyone wishing to report a pollution incident can call the 24 hour Water Pollution Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.