Residents of Ballygawley have hit back over plans to build a waste transfer facility close to the village.
They claim that it would only take one spill to cause serious damage to the nearby river and believe the plant should be sited at an industrial estate.
It has been reported that up to 25 deliveries and removals a day could take place at the plant, which will be operated by OSS Group Limited.
Planners are consulting on the planning application which proposes temporary storage for waste oil, fluids, car parts such as batteries and other garage waste.
The company says it will probably provide five jobs to local residents.
Local resident Jon Stewart said most of these facilities are located in industrial estates where there is the infrastructure to deal with waste and spillage.
“If there is an accident, it is going to be a serious one because of the volumes of waste,” he said.
“What we are concerned about is whether it is appropriate for these facilities to be here, bearing in mind the topography, the road access and the contingency and emergency plans.”
He warned that the nearby Ballygawley Water has already undergone a serious pollution scare caused by a different company and fears that it could happen again.
“Any accident is going to be serious because of the volume of waste. We’re not convinced that Fire Service has enough personnel and resources locally to deal with something like that. This plant is right beside the river,” he said.
Mr Stewart said residents were concerned that Environmental Health had only assessed one aspect of noise in its response to the planning application.
“They only considered the noise of the transfer of oil. They did not consider any other kind of noise, they did not consider dust or odour or fumes,” he said.
A spokesman for OSS Group Limited said the main business will be collecting waste lubricating oil from local garages, temporally storing it in specially constructed tanks and then moving it to England for reprocessing into fuel oil.
“Our business is the collection for recycling of used lubricating engine oil together with other wastes created from servicing cars, thus offering the benefits of recycling waste to garages in Northern Ireland. We recycle 95% of what we collect.
“The other wastes that we collect are mainly oil filters, oily rags, batteries, brake fluid, anti-freeze and oil cans, all stored in approved containers.
“We will operate our depot under the very strict legislative operational and storage requirements set out in an environmental permit granted by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and will continue to maintain our company’s excellent environmental record.”
He added: Other wastes, kept temporarily at the depot, will be stored in approved containers before shipment to England for recycling. Oil filters go to our own fragmentation plant in Knowsley, England, where they are broken down into the component parts. All other wastes are sent to various reprocessing companies. We do not landfill any waste.
“OSS Group has been selling fully compliant recycled oil here for a few years but only started waste oil collection services 12 months ago. Since then our collection customer base has grown to over 1,000 different organisations. Our proposed new depot is to help service our customers by improving recycling services. We believe there is a need for this and are prepared to invest heavily in this. Our new depot is a good example.”