Republicans have been blamed for the latest example of waste from laundered fuel being dumped in the border areas – bringing the total to almost 30 so far this year.
The Department of the Environment said the latest consignment of fluid to be discovered weighs five tonnes.
It was found in rural Co Armagh, and UUP MLA Danny Kennedy suspects republicans operating from across the border were to blame.
He added that this locale has a largely Protestant population, and such visible signs of criminal activity seemed calculated to “intimidate”.
The News Letter can also reveal that, out of 28 instances of such waste being dumped since the start of the year, eight have fallen within the area controlled by Armagh council, whilst 17 have been in Newry and Mourne.
By contrast, Armagh, Limavady and Antrim have seen one such example of dumping apiece.
On this occasion, said the DoE, there should be no harm caused to the environment because there has been no leakage from the containers.
At time of writing, arrangements were being made for its removal.
It was found at Cumson’s Road and Tullygeasy Road, on the edge of the Fews Forest.
The PSNI said they had received a report at around 10.30pm on Thursday that the sludge had been dumped.
They said: “Officers attended and found five pods, one of them empty.
“Transport NI were informed. House to house enquiries were conducted.”
No arrests have been made.
Mr Kennedy said: “Given where this toxic waste has been dumped once again, these incidents appear deliberately designed to put enormous pressure on the minority Protestant community in south Armagh.”
He added: “It’s intimidatory, on the basis that its caused by republicans, or those who are aligned to republicans.”