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Ferris says state of water supply is indictment of Department

24 January, 2008

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on the Environment, Martin Ferris TD has said that the state of the public water supply is an indictment of the Department of the Environment and of successive Ministers. The Kerry North TD was responding to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency which found that over one third of water supplies pose a potential health hazard.

Deputy Ferris said, "While I note today's admission by Minister Gormley of the neglect of this area over the years, and of course that he himself is relatively new to the position, there is no escaping the responsibility which the Department of the Environment bears in all of this. Situations such as that which occurred in Galway last summer are simply unacceptable in a country such as this. And indeed such scares have been all too common in the recent past with eight cases of E - coli contamination reported in my own county alone between 2004 and 2006.

"The current situation is one that must be addressed as a matter of urgency and the Government must ensure that the necessary funds are made available to ensure that the public water supply is made safe and the precautionary measures recommended by the EPA are put in place immediately. As I understand it, the installation of a low chlorine alarm system in the supply systems identified as at risk could be done straight away and at a fairly minimal cost. There is therefore no excuse for failing to act." ENDS

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