In January we covered the ‘ignore reports of low-impact pollution events’ story. ‘Guardian ‘England’s Environment Agency has told its staff to “shut down” and ignore reports of low-impact pollution events because it does not have enough money to investigate them, according to a leaked internal report.’ This story hit a nerve.

The Guardian did a further article on this by John Vidal (Jan 27th)  Which reflects on how we have got to this sorry state over the last decade of Conservative Government.

Guardian ‘This is what ‘cutting red tape’ gets you: rivers polluted without consequence John Vidal

England’s water is bad and getting worse, with regulators too poor or politically cowed to do anything about it

Last year the Environment Agency received more than 100,000 reports of water, air and land pollution in England. The public told of rivers flowing with human faeces, chemicals dumped, fish killed, factories emitting dangerous fumes, nature reserves and the countryside trashed, as well as unbearable noise and dirty air.

Nearly all these reports were ignored and now we know why. According to shocking leaked documents, the agency, which is the statutory protector of England’s natural environment and therefore of much of its health and safety, had ordered its staff to ignore all but the most obvious, high-profile incidents. Its staff were sent to observe only 8,000 of the 116,000 potential pollution incidents and only a handful of companies were taken to court.

In effect, there is now no one in authority even questioning the pollution that blights much of Britain, causes disease, destroys the natural world and costs billions of pounds every year to clean up. That toxic waste dumped at the bottom of your street? Forget it. Your local nature reserve or park despoiled? Don’t worry. That factory illegally belching formaldehyde? Look the other way. Click here to read more

Emma Howard Boyd responded to the Guardian with a letter. On the 30th January

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