A County Londonderry businessman has appeared in court for eight separate water pollution offences.
Norman Menary (69), with an address at Brough Road, Castledawson, Magherafelt, came before Coleraine Magistrates’ Court in Ballymena on Friday, May 6th, 2022.
Menary pleaded guilty, and the judge handed him a fine of £10,000, plus a £15 offender levy.
The court heard that on December 5th, 2018, Water Quality Inspectors (WQIs), acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), responded to a report of water pollution.
The inspectors entered the Anaerobic Digester site at Drumslade Road, Coleraine. Here, they discovered what the court heard was an earth-banked silage clamp.
They observed black coloured liquid discharging from both ends of the silage clamp and flowing over the ground towards the main yard area.
Partially constructed concrete-walled silos and three circular tanks associated with an AD plant were on-site.
At the uncovered tank, they observed a flow of beige, muddy water discharging to an open channel flowing towards the Lower River Bann.
Meanwhile, at the lower yard area, they observed a flow of black, grey coloured liquid, discharging through an embankment adjacent to an unused animal shed, flowing towards an excavated gully in the direction of an overgrown lagoon, an overgrown below the ground tank and a derelict above ground slurry store.
This black coloured liquid was flowing into a grey coloured liquid from the side of a fourth tank.
At the Lower River Bann, inspectors found white/grey fungus on the vegetation. They also discovered a pipe discharging grey coloured liquid directly into the Lower River Bann.
Downstream along the Lower River Bann, a flow of beige muddy water was discharging to the river.
In accordance with procedures, inspectors collected four separate tripartite samples of the active discharges.
A positive dye test confirmed the effluent was entering the Lower River Bann. They added dye to the earth banked silo. Effluent was flowing down the embankment towards the main yard area.
Throughout 2019, inspectors made several visits to the site. In accordance with procedures, they took separate tri-partite samples of the active discharges.
Menary was charged under Article 7(1)(a) of the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 for the offence of making a polluting discharge to a waterway on December 5th, 2018 (four separate charges); January 18th, 2019; January 29th, 2019; March 29th, 2019, and July 10th, 2019.
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