Campaigners call on residents, political reps to boycott NIEA meeting over controversial Mullaghglass site

Campaigners fighting to shut down Mullaghglass landfill site have called on residents and political representatives to boycott an upcoming meeting with the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency (NIEA)

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 9:39 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 9:40 am
Campaigners fighting to shut down Mullaghglass landfill site have called on residents and political representatives to boycott an upcoming meeting with the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency (NIEA) - Photo courtesy of Facebook
Campaigners fighting to shut down Mullaghglass landfill site have called on residents and political representatives to boycott an upcoming meeting with the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency (NIEA) - Photo courtesy of Facebook

Activists from Shut Down Mullaghglass Landfill (SDML), which is made up of concerned residents from Lisburn and west Belfast, accused NIEA of “dragging their feet” over the closure of the site.

The next meeting between NIEA, political elected representatives, residents and the Public Health Agency is due to take place on July 7 at 8pm.

In a letter written to the campaigners over recent ‘malodour’ in the area between June 19-24, the NIEA said that scheduled works to install more landfill caps would take plan near the Mullaghglass Road and would be completed by mid-July.

The letter said: “I am sorry to hear that you have experienced malodour in your area. I previously advised in my correspondence of June 18 that the landfill operator is carrying out scheduled works to install the final engineered cap in the sloped area nearest the Mullaghglass Road.

“I understand that this phase of works will be completed in mid-July. These measures may have contributed to the recent malodour that you have experienced.”

The NIEA letter goes on to say that in the event ‘non-compliance at the site’ then “necessary action” would be taken against the operator.

However, campaigners say that “it’s clear” that the environmental agency have “no intention” of taking action against the operators of the site, Alpha Resource Management.

In a social media post published online, the group said: “I’m calling on all residents and political reps to boycott the meeting with #NIEA due to take place 8 July at 7pm time for engagement is over, its now time for enforcement action! It is clear from NIEA letter today that they have no intention on taking action against #alpha.”

Meanwhile, Denise O’Neill, who lives in Lisburn in the vicinity of the site, said it was “unacceptable” that no action was taken.

She added: “I had no intention of attending this meeting. It is unacceptable that [Northern Ireland Environmental Agency] has not acted on our behalf and taken action against the operator. It is obvious to us all that the operator is non-compliant.”