EPA report on river water quality

 

Sir, – With yet another report on deteriorating river water quality from the EPA, one would have thought they might actually take on a protectionist and enforcement role as their mandate might suggest, rather than a reporting and observation role.

The EPA did not appear overly interested when I queried why Irish Rail was allowed spray chemicals along the boundaries of its 2,400km network as the preferred method of “managing vegetation”. Or why the Transport Authority of Ireland and local authorities are doing similar across the road network. No doubt these State bodies save a few euro by permanently sterilising soil and killing vegetation (and quite a few bees) rather than visiting the site for an annual cut with a couple of machines and humans. And I wonder where all that chemical run-off in the next shower might find its way to?

The EPA response was “that is a matter for the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine, Pest Control division”. Agriculture and environment protection in the same department. Really? Where did the EPA point to as the biggest source of contamination of the rivers? Agriculture. – Yours, etc,

JOHN SHORTEN,

Glenealy, Co Wicklow.