ALLIANCE Leader and South Antrim Assembly member David Ford has backed calls for an independent environmental watchdog in the wake of the Waste Management Advisory Board for Northern Ireland’s (WMABNI) latest report.
Mr Ford said: “It is a sad reflection on the Department of the Environment that it is one of the biggest threats to the environment and that it has failed to meet 83 of its 107 targets set in 2000.
“Alliance strongly backs the establishment of an independent Environmental Protection Agency with the power to enforce legislation, as it makes little sense for the poacher to also be the gamekeeper.
“We would also back WMABNI’s call for the DoE’s Crown immunity to be revoked, as I believe it has led to complacency and can lead to conflicts of interest. The DoE needs to be made much more accountable and responsible.
“I am disappointed by the slow progress that is being made on dealing with waste. It seems that the DoE want everyone else to wake up to waste while it is still half asleep.”