Alliance South Antrim MLA John Blair has called for the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to take more action and increase penalties for illegal dumping.
Mr Blair said areas in his constituency such as Randalstown and Mallusk have seen an increase of illegal dumping during the lockdown period. In recent correspondence with DAERA Minister Edwin Poots, the Alliance MLA outlined the concerns constituents had raised with him on an increase of fly tipping incidents, adding a review of the fixed penalty fines available to Councils should be carried out, in order to “crack down” on offences.
“Littering, fly tipping and other forms of illegal dumping have a detrimental impact on our environment, biodiversity as well as spoiling our countryside. In recent times I have seen domestic waste, household goods and even animal waste product dumped on rural roads across South Antrim,” said the Alliance Environmental spokesperson.
“I have called on the DAERA Minister to review ‘polluter pays structures’ and increase the penalties for offenders. I am pleased he has confirmed DAERA is currently reviewing the levels of fines which can be issued by local Councils and is also consulting with Councils on commencing powers under the Waste and Contaminated Land (NI) Act 2011 which will, if carried through, enhance Council powers and penalties in relation to illegal waste.
“I look forward to working with the Minister to review what more can be done to address these issues and tackle waste crimes.”