Farmers in court over pollution incidents

editorial image

Two farmers have been fined after separate pollution incidents.

Co Londonderry farmer William Millar Henry from Ballyrashane Road, Coleraine pleaded guilty and was today fined £1,500 plus an Offenders Levy of £15 at Coleraine Magistrates’ Court.

On 11 February 2016, Water Quality Inspectors (WQIs), acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) inspected a waterway adjacent to 46 Ballyrashane Road, Coleraine and observed grey fungus in the waterway. The discharge was traced to farm premises owned by Mr Henry.

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.

Meanwhile, Ballymoney farmer Robert Skelton pleaded guilty and was fined £500 plus an Offenders Levy of £15, also at Coleraine Magistrates’ Court.

On 1 July 2015, a Water Quality Inspector (WQI) acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), inspected the Caldanagh Burn at Carnany Bridge, Kilraghts Road, Ballymoney and observed 100% fungal growth coverage of the waterway. The discharge was traced to farm premises owned by Mr Skelton. Over half a kilometre of waterway was affected by the discharge.

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.