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Saturday 18 November 2017

Farmer fined for pollution which killed 880 native brown trout

The source of the polluting discharge was traced to a farm owned by Mr Duncan. Stock Photo.
The source of the polluting discharge was traced to a farm owned by Mr Duncan. Stock Photo.
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Derry farmer fined £650 (€750) for causing polluting discharge to enter a waterway

Robert Duncan from Ballymoghan Road, Magherafelt, was convicted and fined £650, plus £15 offender levy, at Magherafelt Magistrates' Court today for making a polluting discharge to a waterway.

On 11 June 2015, Water Quality Inspectors (WQIs), acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), inspected the Coppies Burn at Magherafelt and observed the presence of agricultural effluent in the waterway. 

The source of the polluting discharge was traced to a farm owned by Mr Duncan.

On the farm the Inspectors discovered a valve had been left open which resulted in the effluent escaping and making its way into the pipe work and from there to the Coppies Burn. 

The waterway was impacted for a distance of 3.2 kilometres resulting in the death of more than 880 native brown trout.

A sample taken at the time of the incident confirmed that the discharge contained poisonous, noxious or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.

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