12 July 2023
Responding to the Environment Agency's water and sewerage company environmental performance report, Richard Benwell, CEO of Wildlife and Countryside Link, said: “An increase in pollution incidents in 2022 is yet another mark of shame for water companies. Changes are coming in a slow trickle, while pollution and leakage continue in torrents. Increased fines may help, but making polluters pay for the big incidents doesn't make up for the daily stream of pollution. A wholesale shift is needed to make polluters pay, not just to clean up individual incidents, but to fund improvements for our rivers, and nature-restoration across whole landscapes."
“Government action is essential. DEFRA's goals to protect the most sensitive rivers for wildlife are too slow. Accountability is patchy, with regulators too stretched to enforce effectively. And any move to weaken current rules for nutrient neutrality would only add to the utterly unsustainable pollution pressure on precious river habitats"
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