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NIEA goldmine discharge consent quashed at High Court

A DISCHARGE Consent granted by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency to a goldmine company has been quashed following Judicial Review proceedings.
 
The NIEA had granted Dalradian Gold Ltd approval for the discharge of nine heavy metals into the Curraghinalt Burn, a tributary of the Owenkillew River, which is designated as a Special Area of Conservation.
 
The proceedings were initiated by local woman, Fidelma O’Kane, who said she now hoped that the NIEA would carry out an Appropriate Assessment under the Habitats Directive. 
 
Speaking outside the High Court in Belfast, she said the decision by the NIEA to concede that they had failed to carry out the assessment in 2017 was welcomed.
 
“I feel that this Judicial Review has identified the significant shortcomings in the way in which the NIEA makes decisions relating to the discharge of effluent,” she said.
 
“My hope is that the NIEA will address these shortcomings and improve their procedures so that the environment is better protected.
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