Fringe Box



Letter: Claims for Government’s Sewage Discharge Countermeasures Are Disingenuous

Published on: 3 Apr, 2022
Updated on: 3 Apr, 2022

From: Sam Peters

Spokesperson for The Green Party

In response to: Lib Dems Suggest a Sewage Tax to Deter Dumping into Rivers

Angela Richardson is incorrect on this issue. She and her party voted against an amendment that actually would have placed a duty on water companies to reduce sewage dumping.

The substitute amendment which she and her party forced through sets no minimum requirement for the amount of sewage dumped, nor any timescale to do so. Lacking both of these, the amendment is functionally useless.

That she has the nerve to claim that “measures have to be deliverable” while voting through an amendment with no means to achieve any target, nor any target at all, is disgraceful.

In addition, her party’s relentless cuts and under-resourcing of regulators, including the Environment Agency, would have made enforcing action against water companies almost impossible even had their amendment not been a waste of time.

The Environment Agency is now so underfunded and understaffed that they themselves admit they will only attend “the most severe” pollution incidents and cannot investigate the vast majority of incidents brought to their attention.

And Ms Richardson’s claim that this government has done more than any other to tackle water pollution is, frankly, disingenuous or staggeringly misinformed.

Aside from the aforementioned gutting of regulatory bodies, the number of sewage discharges has soared under this government, as has the amount of time sewage has flowed into our rivers and seas.

Meanwhile, environmental regulations have been scrapped, slashed or weakened time and time again, and the pace of this has increased since Brexit (despite promises that environmental regulations would be not only upheld but strengthened).

By every conceivable metric, this claim not only fails to hold water, but appears to be the opposite of the truth.

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Responses to Letter: Claims for Government’s Sewage Discharge Countermeasures Are Disingenuous

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    April 4, 2022 at 2:38 pm

    The question is, as the Guildford sewage works are well under the required capacity – shouldn’t we stop adding houses? And should we enlarge the old sewage treatment works to cope with the 18 per cent shortfall or put up with pollution until 2027?

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