Two farmers fined for polluting waterways

Two farmers in Northern Ireland have been fined for polluting waterways, according to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

One farmer in Co. Derry was fined for allowing a polluting discharge to enter a waterway at Coleraine Magistrates’ Court.

William Millar Henry, from Ballyrashane Road, Coleraine, pleaded guilty to the offence; he was fined £1,500 (€1,695) plus an offender levy of £15 (€17).

A number of Water Quality Inspectors (WQIs), acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), inspected a waterway adjacent to 46 Ballyrashane Road, Coleraine, on February 11, 2016.

The WQIs observed grey fungus in the waterway during the inspection.

The discharge was traced to farm premises owned by Henry, according to DAERA.

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 waterway, it added.

Meanwhile, a farmer in Co. Antrim suffered a similar fate after pleading guilty and being fined for polluting a waterway.

The farmer – Robert Skelton from Kilraghts Road, Ballymoney – was fined £500 (€565) plus an offender levy of £15 (€17) at Coleraine Magistrates’ Court. His case related to an incident that occurred two years ago.

A number of WQIs, working on behalf of the NIEA, inspected the Caldanagh Burn at Carnany Bridge, Kilraghts Road, Ballymoney, on July 1, 2015.

The inspectors observed 100% fungal growth coverage of the waterway; the discharge was traced to farm premises owned by Skelton. Over 0.5km of waterway was affected by the discharge, according to DAERA.

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, it added.