Farmer fined for manure pollution

A farmer in County Down, Northern Ireland was fined £4,000 plus court costs for polluting a waterway with sludge and manure.

A Northern Ireland Environment Agency inspector spotted farm effluent from a large manure heap running into the Blackwater River from a lane.

The inspector observed a tractor towing a sludgigator, which was discharging liquid onto a the manure heap. The liquid was seen running off the heap and into the waterway.

On a separate visit, the inspector observed the liquid flowing down the laneway to the waterway to be around eight inches deep in some places.

A sample taken from the site confirmed that the discharge contained poisonous, noxious or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the waterway.

The farmer, Mr Ivan Robinson, of Ravara Road, Ballygowan, was charged and found guilty under Article 7 (1) (a) of the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 with the offence of making a polluting discharge to a waterway.

Alison Brown

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