East Belfast Candidate Chris Lyttle said: “I believe it is vital that Northern Ireland has an independent Environmental Protection Agency. Alliance has been campaigning for the creation of an independent agency for some time and we will continue to do so until it is delivered.
“Having an independent organisation would send out a much stronger message to those who would pose a threat to our environment and I believe it could help us more effectively battle against those who harm our environment.
“Any cost of creating a new independent agency would be offset by efficiency gains in the first five years of its existence. An integrated and independent EPA would in fact help deliver a more efficient and effective environmental protection system.
“Another key reason why we need such an organisation is to show the world that we are a leader on environmental issues, which could be very beneficial in helping us make the most of our green credentials and attract investors as part of a Green New Deal.
“If EU rules on environmental practice are breached this can mean countries face massive fines – we do not want Northern Ireland in a situation where they could face such fines. An independent EPA could help us avoid risks over infraction fines of this nature.
“Alliance will continue to push for the creation of an independent EPA and we will not stop until it has been created.”