It comes following reports that slurry had been identified upstream in the Crumlin River on Sunday (12 February), and concerns having been raised about water pollution, with a fish kill incident being declared.
“This latest incident in Crumlin is disgraceful and the impact it could have on local fish populations is both greatly concerning and greatly saddening,” said John.
“Since joining the Assembly I have raised the issue of pollution of our rivers many times, and it’s immensely disappointing that there are still regular and serious occurrences, such as this one, of harmful pollution which destroys life in our watercourses, damages natural habitats, and threatens native wildlife species.
“The maximum penalty for such is rarely handed down when prosecutions are pursued though this, of course, is a matter for the courts rather than DAERA. The department does, however, have a crucial role to play in public information sharing and follow-up actions around this.
“It has to be said however that this issue is much better dealt with when we have a minister in place to answer questions, participate in Assembly scrutiny, and provide political leadership and policy direction.
“It’s clear that the leaderless limbo the DUP has forced us into threatens environmental action and protection, and puts our living environment and its rich biodiversity at risk.
“With that in mind, I have written to DAERA today asking when this incident was reported, when action was taken, if this has been categorised as serious, requesting detail of the fish kill, and making clear that I will follow up soon seeking clarification of outcomes in this case.”