Banbridge Business Climate Crime Upper Bann

Banbridge Company Fined for Breach of Consent at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court

County Down company Gibson Bros Ltd have been fined £1,000 plus £15 Offenders Levy at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court today for Breach of Consent.

The Court was told that on 10 January 2021 a Senior Water Quality Inspector (SWQI) acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) responded to a number of reports of pollution affecting a tributary of the River Bann where it discharges to the River Bann in Banbridge town centre.

The SWQI observed the tributary of the River Bann adjacent to the Dromore Road in Banbridge to be badly discoloured with a grey/white liquid which appeared to be suspended solids.  The contamination was traced 1.4km upstream to a pipe discharging a large volume of white/grey coloured liquid to the river from settlement ponds within the Gibson Bros Limited Quarry at 1 Kilmacrew Road, Banbridge. This pipe is the designated NIEA consented sampling point for the quarry. 

In accordance with NIEA enforcement policy and procedure, a tripartite statutory consent sample of the discharge was collected and analysed. The sample contained more than 22 times the limit which would be consented by the Department. 

The waterway was observed to be impacted for a distance of 3.2km. 

The samples taken at the time of the incident showed that the discharge had not complied with the consent conditions in respect of suspended solids content and was therefore unsuitable for discharge.  High concentrations of suspended solids in a watercourse can have an abrasive effect upon the gills of fish, in addition suspended solids can settle out in the watercourse and lead to the destruction of fish spawning sites. 

Anyone wishing to report a pollution incident can call the 24 hour Water Pollution Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.


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