Eastwood meets NIEA meeting over pollution in River Lagan

Environment Sorcha Eastwood Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council

Alliance Councillor Sorcha Eastwood has met with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), after a recent pollution incident at the River Lagan in Dromore.

Earlier this month the NIEA confirmed oil was entering the river from a drainage pipe further downstream, following a report to its hotline regarding a spill of a quantity of red diesel.

Sorcha said: “We must ensure that there is a robust response to those who pollute our rivers and waterways, even if that is not their intent. Oil especially can damage the waterproofing on the feathers of ducks and birds meaning that they can no longer fly in some instances and they can die from this.

“I’m glad the NIEA acted so quickly to tackle this incident and will be monitoring the situation to ensure a clean-up took place. Going forward, the Water Framework Directive is to be reviewed in 2021 and to date the River Lagan itself in many parts of Lagan Valley has not achieved an overall status of ‘Good’. Whilst some important work has been done to improve the water quality of the Lagan, it still has some way to go.

“It is incumbent on businesses, farmers and the public to do everything in their power to look after our waterways and I will continue to work with them and community and voluntary organisations to address the issue of pollution.

“Our constituency takes its name from the River Lagan and we must do a lot more to protect and enhance it and the wildlife that has its home along its riverbanks and waterways.”