Watch: Dirty waste tactics uncovered in the hills of Donegal

first_imgUnprecedented levels of illegal dumping were dug up by investigators in a ground-breaking RTE documentary on Monday night.Donegal was revealed to have some of the worst illegal dumping Ireland has ever seen on RTÉ Investigates: Ireland’s Wild Waste.Evidence of massive amounts of buried waste buried was unearthed in Bridgend, Moville and Rossbracken, near Manorcunningham. Featured image shows Moville dumping, credit: RTE Investigates. Almost 200 man-made mounds of material were found near Moville in a facility in large quarry operated by Davey Transport Ltd. under a waste permit from Donegal County Council. Investigators claim they found evidence of abuse across a wide range of waste handling activities. Environmental Director Fergal Mee was left speechless by the footage.When a beauty spot becomes a black spot – illegal dumping in Co Donegal | RTÉ Investigates Ireland’s Wild Waste, RTÉ One 9.35pm— RTÉ News (@rtenews) June 18, 2018Vegetation thinly covered domestic waste on the site, where Davey Transport Ltd.’s planning permission was confined to construction and demolition waste material.However, undercover investigators found more thousands of tonnes of domestic rubbish piled into hundreds of mounds beyond the quarry. Allegedly unauthorised infill of demolition waste was also caught on camera on the banks of the Bredagh River. Donegal County Council responded to all cases explored in last night’s documentary. On the actions of Davey Transport Ltd, the authority said it had sent a warning letter when first alerted of burning waste by the EPA in 2011 and is investigating the infill site by the riverside.Beauty spot turned black spot: RTÉ Investigates uncovers long-term illegal dumping in Donegal |— RTÉ News (@rtenews) June 18, 2018Reporters turned their attention to local waste offender Jim Ferry. The former Ferrys Refuse operator was labelled as ‘one of the most persistent and significant environmental offenders in the country’.The report explored the impact of the 36,000 tonnes of waste buried on Ferry’s 11 acre site at Rossbracken, and the €720,000 spent by Donegal County Council on the partial removal of waste at the site.The former waste collector, who is filing for bankruptcy, has been ordered to disclose information on his finances before the court next week.Donegal County Council said the Rossbracken site, which is a Special Area of Conservation on the shore of Lough Swilly, was “completely different in scale to anything that had gone before… and it will be pursuing the recovery of the costs involved from the responsible parties.”Fire at Ferry’s Refuse and Recycling plant at Rossbracken, near Letterkenny. August 2017In Bridgend, the documentary alleged of a history of cross-border dumping in a field in Bunnamayne. The RTE report claimed that 50,000 tonnes of waste from Derry were dumped at a site which was due to provide for a €100m North West Data Centre. DCC was strongly criticised by the EPA for their handling of the site, but the authority said they are now working with EPA on the matter.Donegal County Council was found by RTE to be the poorest performing council in Ireland for the inspection rate of its facilities and for investment in waste services. The council was also found to have invested the lowest amount of resources in waste management and regulation. Between 2015 and 2016 Donegal spent €4.20 per person on waste management.Donegal County Council responded to the analysis to say the findings did not reflect all of the authority’s efforts in the area of waste. A council statement said extra funding has been secured to hire extra staff and it remains committed to addressing waste management issues and will continue its efforts to do so.The documentary painted a grim picture of the consequences of illegal dumping for some of Ireland’s most scenic areas in Donegal and other counties, including the Wild Atlantic Way. The full episode can be watched on the RTE Player here: Dirty waste tactics uncovered in the hills of Donegal was last modified: June 20th, 2018 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:documentaryireland’s wild wasteRTE Investigateslast_img read more

House Fish holds tax increase proposal

first_imgDownload AudioTo help fill the state’s budget gap, Alaska Governor Bill Walker has asked legislators to consider a variety of tax increases – including raising fisheries taxes by one percent. The bill to do so is now on hold in the House Fisheries Committee.A proposal on hold in the House Fisheries committee would increase the state’s take of fisheries revenue by increasing a variety of taxes by one percent each. (Photo by Molly Dischner, KDLG – Dillingham) At the end of a hearing Feb. 23, committee chair Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, said she didn’t want the bill to move out of committee until issues raised during public testimony were given more consideration – and efforts to increase taxes for other natural resources also moved along.“I don’t want to see the fishing industry be the only one subject to a tax increase,” she said. “Consequently this bill is gonna be held in committee until an undetermined time. Until I feel comfortable that the fishing industry is not being singled out.”The February 23rd hearing was one of multiple held by the fish committee, which has mostly heard from fishermen and industry representatives who have said they understand the state’s need to raise more revenue, but had questions about the plan put forward by the administration.The plan raises the state’s various fisheries taxes by one percent each. During a Feb. 18 hearing, state tax director Ken Alper explained that the increases, estimated to bring in $18.4 million, essentially would make fish revenue match the cost of fisheries management, without overhauling the current structure of fisheries taxes.“There are embedded features in existing statute that the governor did not want to look to upend,” he said. “For example, the percentage shares of municipal revenue sharing, or the different existing tax rates between an onshore vs a floating vs a cannery. Those are fully within the legislature’s discretion to move those around. It’s not that 1 percent was a dartboard solution, it was the most rational solution to try to come up with the desired amount of additional funding.”But at the Feb. 23 hearing, Alper gave the public and the committee a tool to look at changes to those rates: a spreadsheet.“It creates a framework to sort of plug in different tax rates for the different categories of the fishery,” Alper said. “The three percent rate that is more or less all the onshore fisheries, the four and a half percent rate that one person testified might be very high is really the canned fishery, the five percent offshore floater rate and the one percent developing. So that’s an excel spreadsheet, it’s very user friendly, it’s on the internet, individuals and the public can look at it now, if you wanted to plug in different tax rates to plug in different tax rates to try and create a desired level of revenue for alternative versions of the bill you now have that available to you.”That was largely in response to testimony about the increases, which has noted that the flat one percent increase has a different impact on different parts of the industry.Pacific Seafood Processors Association Vice President Vince O’Shea explained to the committee Feb. 18 that the one percent increase is actually about a 25 to 33 percent increase in the amount that will have to be paid.And Bob Krueger, from the Kodiak-based Alaska Whitefish Trawlers Association, noted that such an increase is sizable in comparison to the slim margins that some low-value fisheries operate on.O’Shea also said that the industry is facing other challenges right now, including the rising minimum wage and the strong dollar. And he noted that for products like canned salmon, a higher tariff may result in lower sales.Icicle Seafoods’ Kris Norosz echoed that in her testimony Feb. 23, saying that a higher tax on canned salmon would be bad news for places like Bristol Bay that produce canned salmon.“It’s not an increase that we can likely pass on to the consumer,” Norosz told the committee.Norosz explained that canned salmon is one of the highest priced canned foods there is, and in the retail market, cost is critical.“It’s really price sensitive, it’s the backbone of the industry, and it’s what bails us out when we have large runs,” said Norosz.But O’Shea and others said the industry is willing to work on ways to help raise revenue for the state, and wanted to collaborate on a plan. Seward fisherman and direct marketer Rhonda Hubbard said that effort just needed time.“Fisheries tax is very complex,” Hubbard said. “It’s probably one of the most complex tax components within the department of revenue. Those taxes do need to be updated. And while it’s admirable that the administration, departments are coming together providing you the information, everything. I think we, as an industry, need to be a part of that meeting, or also come together with them, in creating some more equitable ways of taxing our industry.”Despite all of the concerns, one person spoke adamantly in support of the proposal Feb. 23. Nancy Hillstrand from Pioneer Alaskan Fisheries said her company supports the tax, but wants the state to use the money fairly.“Fish are a public trust, it belongs to all Alaskans, so we totally do agree with this one percent tax, we do agree with a flat tax across the board for all,” she said.In response to all that testimony, Representative Stutes said at the end of the Feb. 23 hearing that the committee will work to pass along the comments it has heard, draft some of it’s own recommendations on the bill, and provide additional opportunities for public comment before the bill moves forward.last_img read more