Firm fined over pipeline pollution

A Northern Irish business has been fined for the pollution it generated during the construction of the north-south gas pipeline in June 2006.

On January 7 SICIM Roadbridge, from County Kildare, was ordered to pay £15,000 at Newry Magistrates' Court.

In 2006, an official from the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) found that the Forkhill River in County Armagh was badly polluted. The waste was eventually traced three large industrial pumps discharging large volumes of heavily silted effluent directly into a tributary.

It was found that the pollution was being generated by the construction of the pipeline, which was being built by SICIM Roadbridge.

Representatives of the firm pleaded guilty and the magistrate said that the company had put commercial interests ahead of a concern for the environment.

When the north-south pipeline was completed in 2007, Energy Minister Eamon Ryan said: "This pipeline project is an integral part of the wider natural gas network programme.

"The linking of the respective systems north and south enhances security of supply on the island of Ireland, as well as bringing the benefits of natural gas to towns along its route."

James Cooper



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