David Ford said: “This debate gives local MLAs the chance to send out a strong signal that we want to become a world leader in environmental protection.
“Alliance has long been at the forefront on the campaign for the creation of an Environmental Protection Agency. The Review of Environmental Governance published in June recommended this measure and we are still awaiting action from the Minister Arlene Foster.
“The key theme of this Executive has been delay, instead of delivery. I am calling on the Executive to break with tradition on this and act quickly because protecting the environment is a race against time.
“With devolution offering the chance to make our own decisions we can now forge ahead on green issues. The Executive must not waste this great opportunity.”