Waste Storage at Edenderry Industrial Estate

Part of Question for Urgent Oral Answer — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 1:00 pm on 21st July 2020.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 1:00 pm, 21st July 2020

Fines are a matter for the courts. Those fines can be high if the courts decide to make them high, and we encourage the courts to fine heavily. We have a principle that "the polluter pays", and, consequently, NIEA will always seek to get back all the expenditure that it has involved in a case so that there is no public expenditure as a result of someone's criminal activity. It is for the courts to identify the level of fine over and above that, and we will encourage them to fine quite heavily individuals who engage in illegal activity.

There are people who engage in waste activity who are registered and carry out those activities legally; there are others who appear to be doing it who are not registered and consequently are doing it illegally. I am happy to look again at the work that was done in developing the regulation and the legislation around this to see whether it needs to be refreshed or whether there are inadequacies. I do not believe that this will be a one-off case. I believe there to be other cases. Therefore, if we need to, we will have to take further steps to ensure that we clamp down heavily on this activity.