Council’s €500,000 bill for diesel sludge clean up

editorial image
Mr Frank Pentony, Dundalk Town Council, told a meeting of the town’s joint policing committee that Louth local authorities so far this year have spent €500,00 has cleaning up the diesel sludge dumped by criminals.

Mr Frank Pentony, Dundalk Town Council, told a meeting of the town’s joint policing committee that Louth local authorities so far this year have spent €500,00 has cleaning up the diesel sludge dumped by criminals.

This amounts to 600 tonnes which have to be exported to Holland for disposal.

In the last two years €1m has been spent cleaning up this material.

There was a slow down at the beginning of this year but the dumping is now back to last year’s levels.

Superintendent Ger Curley told the meeting that a number of successful garda operations have taken place with the cooperation of the PSNI and customs.

Since April of last year, the Revenue and Department for the Environment have been closing in on diesel laundering criminals.

Revenue, Customs, and department officials have been given increased powers to deal with the environmental and economic scourge.

Louth County Council has also met with revenue and customs to tackle the problem.

Twelve per cent of all diesel in this country is sold illegally.

The main problem is how to stop criminals buying agricultural fuel at a lower cost, laundering it, and selling it on as motor fuel for a profit.

The problem has spiralled to unprecedented levels over the past few years.

The rate of dumping in 2011 rose by a massive 3,600 per cent in the space of just two years.

In 2009 27 tonnes were found in Louth while in 2010 that rose to 220 tonnes.

Last year a staggering 989 tonnes were dumped.

Louth local authorities, whose budgets are already stretched, not only have to clean-up the dumped material.

It also has to pay and arrange for the material to be exported.