Press statement: response to OEP identifying possible failures to comply with environmental law in the oversight of untreated sewage discharges

A statement from The Rivers Trust

Matthew Woodard


The Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) has identified possible failures to comply with environmental law in relation to regulatory oversight of untreated sewage discharges. Here is what we have to say:

"Healthy rivers are fundamental to our social and economic health – we MUST protect them.

"For years we have been sharing evidence that our rivers were suffering long-term abuse and the OEP announcement today tells us that in relation to sewage pollution this may well have been the result of government and regulators failing to comply with the law. This comes the day before the House of Lords considers new amendments, put forward by, former and current, Defra Secretaries of State, withdrawing protection for our rivers under the Habitats Directive - our strongest environmental protection.

"We urge members of the House of Lords to vote down these Government amendments and for all parliamentarians to learn the lessons of past failures in water governance and get a grip of this vitally important issue. We need to raise the health of our rivers further up the policy and legislative priority list so that current and future generations can survive and thrive.”

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive Officer

Government may have broken law over sewage - watchdog - BBC News

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