Climate warning
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UK Environmental Agency

Climate warning

Watchdog finds sewage overflow failures may have broken environmental law.

The Government and the regulator for the water industry may have acted illegally in managing sewage discharges by water companies, according to Britain’s environmental watchdog. The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Environment Agency (EA) and Ofwat have all been informed of the provisional findings that they failed to comply with environmental law. Now the three agencies have two months to respond to the findings from the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP), which was set up after Brexit to replace the EU’s environmental protection functions. The OEP opened an investigation into the trio last June, amid concerns that they had not properly been enforcing the law. This is its first major enforcement action since being founded. At the heart of the case, the OEP said, was whether or not the three bodies were correctly interpreting what counts as extraordinary circumstances. Water companies have been granted permits to discharge sewage into rivers and seas hundreds of thousands of times a year when their networks have been overwhelmed by rainwater. This was on the basis that such rainfall was considered extraordinary circumstances. The OEP, however, believes that Defra, the EA and Ofwat may have been too lenient in interpreting the law.

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22 more agrees trigger contact with the recipient

  • Gorffly mokua

    39 w

    Legal action should be taken against them,asap!

    • George Kariuki

      39 w

      This raises a lot of questions about the commitment of UK pledge to Environmental Protection.

      • john linus Tom

        39 w

        Too bad this need immediate action, #ourhealthourfuture

        • Annett Michuki..

          39 w

          this is threatening the lives of people and animals

          • CHRIS NGATIA

            39 w

            This is very harzadious .... The sewages should be treated before being disposed

            • Ajema Lydiah

              39 w

              All sewages should be treated and disposed appropriately

              • rosebellendiritu

                39 w

                Somebody acted irresponsibly here without caring how this can be dangerous to all.

                • Hilda Wangui

                  39 w

                  Urgent action and serious response is needed since public health and sea animals are at highly risk discharged sewage may end up causing suffocation to marines lifes

                  • Elizabeth Gathigia

                    39 w

                    This is very serious and worrying, public health is at risk as well as marines

                    • Princess

                      39 w

                      It's deeply concerning, Such incidents can have serious consequences for our ecosystems and public health, and it's crucial that responsible parties are held accountable and that stricter regulations are enforced to prevent future occurrences.

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