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River water quality is a murky issue to address

Linda Stewart (26 August) writes a well-informed assessment of river water quality issues in Northern Ireland.

The Green Party is quoted as calling legal discharge consents "legalised pollution" which grossly misrepresents the situation. Very few agricultural or industrial processes can be operated without use of water – often in large volumes. Surplus water has to go somewhere as effluent.

Some recycling may be possible at the originating premises but ultimately all effluent ends up in watercourses or the sea.

Ms Stewart unintentionally highlights the problem by mentioning Northern Ireland's targets set under the European Union Water Framework Directive.

This one-size-fits-all directive sets out (with incredible hubris) to return water quality to pre-industrial revolution standards.

While the United Kingdom remains part of the EU, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency must devote its energies to ticking boxes of the Water Framework and all its daughter directives.

It is time we left the EU and let our elected representatives take responsibility for environmental legislation.

Alan Love

UKIP-NI Environment Spokesman

Belfast Telegraph