David Ford who is on the Assembly Environment Committee said: “The best way to ensure that a strong approach to green issues can be taken is if we create an EPA, and that agency is totally independent of the government.
“Self-regulation in relation to environmental protection simply doesn’t work. I don’t doubt the dedication of the individuals in the current agency, but the structures aren’t functioning effectively.
“Creating an independent EPA could also help us better meet our European Union obligations. Northern Ireland has massive potential to grow a strong green economy – An independent EPA would help us to brand ourselves as a world leader on sustainability and environmental protection.”