Kirk on illegal fuel problem

Fianna Fáil deputy Seamus Kirk has said the latest incident of diesel sludge dumping in Louth is further evidence of the need for strong measures to tackle the sale of illegal diesel.

Fianna Fáil deputy Seamus Kirk has said the latest incident of diesel sludge dumping in Louth is further evidence of the need for strong measures to tackle the sale of illegal diesel.

Deputy Kirk was commenting after 48,000 litres of toxic diesel sludge was found dumped on the M1 motorway.

“This is just the latest incident of toxic sludge being abandoned near the border as a result of illegal diesel laundering, and it again emphasises the need for a crack-down on this criminal practice,” Mr Kirk said.

“Recent figures suggest that 12 per cent of all diesel in Ireland is sold illegally. The illegal laundering of diesel is damaging to public safety, to the environment and to the public finances.  With the rise in fuel costs only encouraging this criminal activity, it is imperative that measures be taken to address the matter.  

“Last month Fianna Fáil laid out a series of proposals to crack down on diesel laundering, as part of our pre-budget submission. We proposed that the duty on agricultural fuels and motor fuels should be equal, with a scheme in place to allow farmers to reclaim the extra costs incurred. This would deter criminals from purchasing agricultural fuel at a lower cost, laundering it and selling it on as motor fuel for a profit.

“It is estimated that it would save the exchequer €155 million a year.

“Fianna Fáil also proposed a 10c rebate for licensed road hauliers.”