To: Minister of Agriculture, Environment, and Rural Affairs of Northern Ireland

Andrew Muir: Increase Fines for Polluters

Reinstate higher fines for farm pollution to safeguard our local waterways.

Why is this important?

In 2022, former DAERA Minister, Edwin Poots, capped penalties for repeated agricultural pollution breaches at 15% in 2022. Before then, farmers who repeatedly polluted faced losing between 15%-100% of their farm payments depending on the severity of the pollution.

It should not be cheaper to pollute than to manage waste in a safe and effective way. We have a freshwater crisis in NI because of vast amounts of pollution that is going into loughs and rivers. Excess run-off from industrial agricultural processes has deteriorated the overall water quality of Lough Neagh which provides over half of Belfast's drinking water.

We have a right to safe and secure drinking water and duty to ensure that Lough Neagh and other freshwater bodies in NI are protected.

We call on Minister Andrew Muir to reinstate higher fines and properly enforce them today!