The fuel quality campaign initiated by petroleum retailers here in Louth is a welcome step in the fight-back against the criminals involved in fuel laundering.
About fifteen top petrol retailers are now flying a flag at their forecourts with the guaranteed quality sign indicating that the fuel on sale is guaranteed legitimate top quality motor fuel. So motorists know that what they buy will not damage their vehicles and the money is not going to criminal gangs.
The criminal fuel racket is costing this state, and this county, a fortune.
Louth County Council is spending millions each year cleaning up the toxic sludge left after the washing of the dye from the diesel.
This at a time when the local authority is struggling financially to provide services.
Last year, the county council dealt with 600 tons of sludge and now there is 500 tons to be cleaned out at a disused quarry at Cavan Hill.
Experts will have to be called in to clear it and the toxic material will have to be taken to The Netherlands or Germany for disposal.
This is nearly as bad as Sellafield.
What is needed is criminal prosecutions with long sentences.
The security forces and customs on both sides of the border have united in their efforts to catch the gangs, but more is needed.
This is a scourge on the environment as well as local economies. The criminals are making huge profits at retail outlets, both North and South, so the move by retailers here in Louth should be supported by all.