HEFTY FINES MEAN CLEANER RIVERS!
Water companies leaned on to reduce pollution incidents
RIVER fishing received a massive boost this week with the news that UK waterways are at their cleanest for decades.
In a yearly review of major water and sewerage companies, an Environment Agency report reveals that pollution incidents fell by 26 per cent in 2015 as increasing pressure was put on them to clean up their act.
A total of 1,742 pollution incidents were recorded in 2015 compared to 2,358 the year before. The number of serious incidents has fallen by half since 2005.
An EA spokesman said that the results are good news for the nation’s river lovers, but added that more work is still needed to be done: “The nine firms have made good progress in 2015 and have achieved record rates of selfreporting of pollution incidents. This shows they are identifying accidents earlier and responding quicker to minimise damage to the environment,” he said.
“We have challenged them to do even better by setting tough targets to reduce pollution incidents further by 2020, but we recognise that there are poorer performing companies that need to do more to protect the environment.
“We’re working closely with these companies, addressing issues both at director level and on the ground.”
Numerous reasons have been given for the decrease in incidents, including heftier fines.
New sentencing guidelines introduced in 2014 saw a huge increase in fines for polluters.
In April last year Yorkshire Water was handed a record £1.1m fine after sewage overflowed into the Ouse in August 2013, affecting a kilometre of the river.
Pressure on water firms to improve performances has also grown since the EA introduced its Environmental Performance Assessment (EPA) in 2011. The programme, which assesses companies and how they compare with each other, forces them to achieve high levels of selfreporting of pollution as well as undertaking risk assessments to reduce future spillages.