Sinn Féin Ballymoney Councillor Anita Cavlan has welcomed clarification from the Environment Minister that 17 identified sites in the North which contain illegal waste from the 26 counties will not see local councils incurring the cost of the clean up required.
In a statement, Cllr. Cavlan said that following a North South Ministerial statement on environment and waste matters, Sinn Féin took the opportunity to question the Minister in relation to the new protocols in place between the Environment Agency and local authorities and if councils would be expected to contribute to the repatriation of waste.
In response the Minister confirmed that 80% of the cost would be met by Dublin and the other 20% by central government, local councils will incur no cost.
This has been welcomed by Ms Cavlan, who had previously voiced concerns that local councils - and therefore rate payers - would be liable to pay towards the work involved.
Commenting, Cllr Cavlan said: ‘While I welcome the new arrangements put in place concerning the Environment Agency and local councils to deal with waste management issues, I was concerned that the huge costs involved in removing illegal waste from these identified sites would fall on councils which would surely have had an impact on rate payers.
‘I am pleased the Minister has publicly clarified the situation.”