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Clean-up of hazardous waste site could cost State up to half a million euro

Louth County Council has begun the tendering process for the clean-up of the site, which was discovered two years ago.

Image: Hazardous waste image via Shutterstock

IT HAS EMERGED that an unauthorised dump discovered two years ago in Louth contains some 500 cubic tons of hazardous waste and could cost the state hundreds of thousands of euro to clean up.

The site at a quarry at Cavan Hill was found in September 2011 in a multi-agency initiative involving the county council, gardaí and Customs.

A spokesperson for Louth County Council told TheJournal.ie that it was recently determined that approximately 500 cubic tons of material in the 1600 cubic tons of waste at the site is hazardous and is believed to be as a result of an illegal diesel laundering operation.

The spokesperson said that it has begun the tendering process for the clean-up of the site, with pre-qualification questionaires for some 50 qualified contractors.

Until recently, the scale of the problem had not been fully determined as a garda investigation is ongoing.

“We knew there was a mix of materials from domestic household waste but just quite recently, before we went to tender, we had an estimate of the hazardous waste,” they said. “There’s a series of issues, mainly in relation to prosecution and gathering evidence for that, so there are restrictions on who can and can’t access the site.”

Though no prosecutions have yet been made, the spokesperson said they were “imminent”.

It is expected that the cost of the clean-up will reach into the “mid six-figure range” and the council hopes to recoup these costs from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

Read: Raid on fuel laundering plant uncovers 5,000 litres of toxic waste>

Read: Seven tonnes of toxic waste uncovered at Monaghan fuel laundering plant>

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