Muir encourages views on EPA consultation

Alliance Councillor Andrew Muir has encouraged people to give their views on the need for an independent environmental protection agency (EPA).

Councillor Muir was speaking after the Environment Minister launched a new discussion document entitled Environmental Governance in Northern Ireland, which talks about the potential establishment of an agency to oversee environmental issues here.

He said Alliance had long called for such an organisation to be created, adding the current set-up of an environment agency within the Department of the Environment was “under-resourced and ineffective”.

“A strong, independent organisation with the ability to educate and prevent disasters will not only send out a tough message against polluters but undoubtedly improve the quality of life for everyone in Northern Ireland.

“I recently made progress on eliminating the foul odour and sewage polluting the Kinnegar Lagoons in Holywood, but only after I continually lobbied various agencies to take action. Having an overall body to co-ordinate action and responses would regulate things more efficiently.

“Northern Ireland has amazing potential as a green economy and the creation of an independent EPA would demonstrate our credentials, allowing us to showcase ourselves as a world leader on green issues.”

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