Derry City and Strabane District Council has previously stated that it will cost £50 million to clean up the site.
Said Mr Gallagher: “In 1992, the Department of Environment commissioned an investigation to assess environmental risks associated with deposits of tarry waste in the Faughan area.
“The subsequent ENTEC report 1 , produced in 1996, examined 23 sites and the presence of tarry waste was confirmed on 6 sites at Tirbracken Rd, Falloward, Rossdowney Rd, Carnmoney Rd and two at Mobuoy Rd.
“They were classified as Category A and the report concluded that the risks posed by tarry waste was ‘low’.
“In 2013, the Environment Minister asked for a health risk assessment to be carried out at Lettershandoney, close to the Tirbracken Rd site, where a Derry City council spokesperson has stated that tarry waste had been dumped between 1968-1972.
“It has also been reported that there appears to be a very high number of people living in Lettershandoney who have been diagnosed with a neurological condition, such as motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or
Parkinson's; as well as a high number of people who have had various cancers¹.
“Following site inspections, assessment of the ENTEC report and discussions with relevant agencies about the tarry waste site at Tirbracken Road, it was concluded in 2014 that the tarry waste was unlikely to present a risk to the health of the occupants of nearby residential property or wider public due to the absence of a credible/ actual pollutant linkage².
“However, recent proposals by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs’ Mobuoy
Remediation Project Team now appear to cast serious doubt over these previous reports and assessments.
“These proposals are recommending that the two sites with tarry waste at Mobuoy Road are removed with off-site disposal.
“Why has this finding not been urgently applied to the 4 sites at Tirbracken Road, Falloward, Rossdowney Road, and Carnmoney Road, given they were previously categorised as the same as the two at Mobuoy?
“Why has it taken 30 years for this hazard to be properly identified at these four other sites?“People Before Profit have long stood with the activists campaigning for the full clean-up of Mobuoy dump and a public inquiry. In 2014, Stormont agreed to this Public Inquiry.
“However, in 2020 the Environment Minister then ruled out the inquiry with little opposition from other
Stormont Executive parties.
“We now stand with activists calling for a new Public Inquiry into Mobuoy to include all tarry waste sites across the area.
“We call for the full implementation of Part 3 of the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 that provides the legal provisions for the introduction of a Contaminated Land regime in Northern Ireland equivalent to that operating under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990) in England and Scotland since 2000 and in Wales since 2001.
“The Order was enacted in 1997 but the regime is not yet in force.
“In the absence of such a regime the only role the Councils Environmental Health Service has in relation to contaminated land in general is assessing any planning applications outlining proposals for contaminated sites or adjacent land.
“Further, we call for the immediate remediation of all tarry waste sites across the Faughan area,” he added.Tags: