The Times reports that Defra ministers have told water company bosses they will no longer “mark their own homework” on whether they are illegally polluting rivers, in a shift in how the sector is regulated.

Private water companies have to run checks to ensure they are meeting permits issued by the Environment Agency about how they run sewage works, including taking samples of the effluent they discharge into rivers and their releases of raw sewage.

There were more than 300,000 sewage spills into rivers and seas in 2022, which are legally allowed under permits. However, concern is growing that some of those discharges were illegal.

The paper also reports that:

  • The Minister Steve Barclay pledged a 470 per cent increase in water company inspections by officials.
  • The change in monitoring water pollution is expected to happen within the next year.
  • Details of whether the Environment Agency will receive extra funding to take on the task are currently unclear.
  • The Conservatives are on the verge of adopting a Labour policy of banning bonuses where breaches of the law with pollution regularly happen, with Barclay promising to do the same.

Read more

No Comment

Comments are closed.