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Levels of polluting nitrogen and phosphorus in Irish rivers and lakes were found to be unacceptably high

Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore has called for an immediate Government response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s bleak assessment of the condition of Irish watercourses.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson on climate action and biodiversity, said:

“The latest EPA report shows there was no significant improvement in the biological quality of our rivers and lakes last year. It found that levels of polluting nitrogen and phosphorus in Irish watercourses – resulting from human activities such as farming and forestry – were unacceptably high.

“Any improvements identified in some areas were offset by declines elsewhere, according to the report, which called for action to be taken by Uisce Éireann and the agriculture sector.

“The failure to reduce pollution levels will make it more difficult to achieve the EU and national goal of restoring our waters to good or better quality by 2027.

“The Minister must support and work with the agriculture sector to bring levels down – but we also need better enforcement and regulation to ensure that rules are being adhered to.

“This Government likes to paint a rosy picture of its environmental track record. However, despite all the rhetoric and spin, the metrics tell a very different story.”

June 14, 2023

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