Hazardous asbestos waste dumped over Draperstown bridge

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Numerous sheets of asbestos were found to have been dumped over a bridge in Draperstown by a member of the public.

The illegal waste, which was left lying right beside a river after being tipped over the Whitewater Bridge, was reported to the Environment Agency - which has since been praised by Mid Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone for its quick action.

Mr McGlone said: “I welcome the swift response from the waste management team at the Environment Agency on being alerted to the dumping of hazardous material, including asbestos, at the Whitewater Bridge.

“They despatched the Flytipping Team to the site after being alerted to the danger, carried out an assessment, and engaged contractors to clear the asbestos waste, and take it to an authorised facility, under the Flytipping Programme.

“Asbestos was removed from the banks of the river and the water itself.

“On having the issue reported to me by a local resident I immediately contacted the Department of the Environment who, in turn, alerted the Environment Agency.

“Their vigilance enabled this dangerous material to be dealt with promptly and safely removed from the area.

“However, it is a matter of concern that the Mid Ulster Council was made aware of the danger a week before and had taken no action to protect the public. This hazardous material could have been spread by the river over a large area in that time.

“I condemn utterly those responsible for dumping this dangerous material at a public site. Their irresponsible and illegal activity demonstrates contempt for the environment and the health of local residents.

“I urge anyone with any information about the illegal dumping of hazardous material to contact the police.”