Six containers of toxic diesel sludge have been found dumped on the side of a road in Co Louth.
Two of the plastic containers were leaking onto the main road early this morning and the road between the M1 at junction 14 and Mullins Cross was closed for a clean-up operation.
The white plastic cubes contain a by-product of the diesel laundering process in which criminals remove the dye from agricultural diesel in order to sell it as road fuel. Each of the containers contains 1,000 litres of liquid.
Louth County Council employs specialist contractors to deal with such dumping incidents, as well as its local area staff.
Council sources said the authority had already dealt with 80 such incidents of dumping toxic diesel sludge this year, involving 326 such containers.
The total cost of recovering and treating each container is about €1,000. The product is ultimately sent to Germany for treatment.
Some 808 containers of toxic diesel sludge were recovered by the council last year in 92 dumping incidents. The total cost of the recovery was some €1 million, council sources said.
No one has been apprehended for the dumping offences.
The four local authorities in Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan are currently evaluating tenders from expert contractors who will be appointed in the coming months to deal with finds of oil-laundering residue.
Nine diesel laundries containing 327,000 litres of oil were uncovered last year, the Oireachtas Committee on the Environment heard in February.
Over one million litres of oil, including oil seized from unlicensed premises, was seized by Revenue’s Customs service.