IRSP calls for an independent investigation into Farm Nutrients Management Scheme 2006
The Farm Nutrients Management Scheme 2006 was created to prevent livestock slurry polluting our drinking water. The Stormont scheme saw £212 million of public money transferred to farmers. A 2011 NI Audit Office report into the scheme said of 370 inspections carried out on 4899 slurry storage facilities nearly half were found to be leaking and defective.
IRSP spokesperson Michael McLaughlin continues “ The Farm Nutrients Management Scheme ,or “Cash for Manure”, failed by every metric to prevent harmful agricultural pollution leaking into the drinking water, polluting our waterways and damaging our ecosystem. No work has been carried out to this date to rectify the shortcomings. We can only be left to conclude that since at least 2003 up to at least 4899 slurry storage tanks have been continuously polluting water sources.”
“Unlike the Cash for Ash, Cash for Wind or any other Stormont corruption scandal, Cash for Manure has the most potential to seriously damage the health of working class people who cannot afford to cook or drink with clean bottled water. Thousands of the defective leaking slurry storage tanks were built in Derry Tyrone, Fermanagh and Armagh. A Southern Environmental Protection Agency report suggests the pollution from these defective tanks is poisoning fresh water in Donegal, Leitrim, Cavan Monaghan and Louth. Polluting the drinking water along the 310 mile British border in Ireland.”
Mr McLaughlin said “We reject the 2022 Court of Appeals ruling on the Farm Nutrients Management Scheme as a whitewash. The Appeals Court found no evidence of criminal negligence or embezzlement by Stormont Ministers Arlene Foster, Michelle O’Neill, Gordon Lyons and Michelle Gildernew, yet still no serious investigation was carried out into the leaking slurry tanks. The defective slurry storage tanks are still leaking even though the Stormont politicians have dodged personal responsibility.
Mr McLaughlin finishes “The IRSP states clearly that this pantomime has gone on long enough. It’s time for an independent public inquiry into the Farm Nutrients Management Schemes damage to our drinking water, waterways and ecosystem. The next time you hand a child a glass of tap water or make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, have a serious think about what’s coming out of the tap.”