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01/08/2021

Environment Minister rules out a public inquiry into a huge illegal waste dump on the outskirts of Derry

Another twist in the controversy surrounding the Mobuoy waste dump

Mobuoy Road dump site

One of the areas in which the illegal waste was found at Mobuoy.

The Environment Minister has ruled out a public inquiry into the circumstances behind a huge illegal dump on the outskirts of Derry.

The dump at Mobuoy near Maydown is believed to contain up to one million tonnes of waste.

News of its discovery first emerged in 2014.

An criminal investigation into the dump is continuing.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs commissioned an independent report from Chris Mills, the former Director of the Welsh Environment Agency, to carry out a review of waste disposal at the Mobuoy site and the lessons learnt for future regulation of the waste industry.

However, there have been calls for a public inquiry into how the dump went unnoticed for so long.

Councillors in Derry last week urged the Northern Ireland Executive to launch such an inquiry.

The calls were made at a meeting at which the Northern Ireland Environment Agency outlined plans on how to deal with the waste.

However, it today emerged that the Environment Minister, Edwin Poots, has ruled out a public inquiry into the Mobuoy dump.

In an answer to an Assembly question from Grenn Party MLA Rachel Woods, Mr Poots said that since 2014 there have been 'significant improvements' to the management and regulation of the waste sector following the Mills review.

“I will not initiate a public inquiry but instead focus resources on ensuring the improvements emanating from the Mills review are built upon,” added the Minister.

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