Alliance MLA Kieran McCarthy is writing to the Department of Regional Development to seek answers about allegations that toxic paint is falling from the hull of the Strangford ferry into the Lough.
Mr McCarthy said that he was concerned that a toxic heavy metal derived from cyanide (isocyanate) was used in paint that was peeling from the hull of the Portaferry II into the water and washing up on the shore.
Mr McCarthy said: “Not only are there questions to be answered about the environmental aspects of using this particular toxic paint if it is prone to peeling, but also whether taxpayers’ money was well spent.
“I have been told that there is virtually no adhesion between the protective outer coating and the undercoat, despite recent repainting. Not only is Strangford Lough being polluted, but the ferry being out of operation is a huge inconvenience to many of my constituents.
“I will be asking the Department to supply details of what this paint contains, and how much the botched repaint cost, as there are fears that the Portaferry II could quickly become a floating rust bucket because of penny-pinching.”