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Illegal Dumping

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made in deterring illegal dumping in Northern Ireland, with particular reference to border areas; and if he will make a statement. (86299)

The Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) continues to work closely and successfully with other enforcement agencies, including those in the Republic of Ireland. This has resulted in improved communication and intelligence, allowing joint action to tackle serious incidents and serious offenders.

EHS, through its environmental crime team, has disrupted the activities of those engaged in the illegal waste trade. As a result, large illegal dump sites are being discovered less frequently. Officers are also discovering increasing amounts of shredded material, treated in this way to mask the point of origin.

On the evidence provided by EHS, the Public Prosecution Service took 47 successful prosecution cases to the end of June 2005, compared with 58 for all of 2005, and 24 in 2004. The 129 successful prosecutions to date have generated fines in excess of £210,000. Around 100 further cases have been scheduled for hearing in the courts.