The State’s environmental watchdog has ordered Donegal County Council to carry out an extensive risk assessment of a 13-acre site at Bridgend where toxic waste has been illegally buried.
The site, on the main Buncrana-Derry road opposite the old Irish Customs and Excise post, was ‘in-filled’ in the 1990s and the Environmental Protection Agency is concerned that waste was illegally dumped and buried there.
A 2010 assessment of a small section of the site found high levels of methane gas, and toxic compounds in the groundwater.
The EPA has now told Donegal County Council that it must carry out an assessment of the entire 13 acre site to determine just how much illegally dumped waste is buried there and what effect that is having on the environment.
In May, the EPA visited the site and was highly critical of Donegal County Council’s “unclear” responses.
The agency is of the opinion that the council has “failed to perform in a satisfactory manner its statutory functions in relation to environmental protection in relation to the illegal waste deposition site at Bonemaine, Bridgend”.
The EPA has given the council until 1 August to explain how it will carry out the risk assessment of the entire site, and a timeframe within which the work will be completed.
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