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UK water companies face ‘unlimited fines’ for sewage pollution

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

*The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the UK Government states the fines will be reinvested in a new Water Restoration Fund to improve water quality, support projects to improve water management, and restore protected sites

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the United Kingdom (UK) Government has stated that water companies in the country will incur unlimited fines for polluting rivers and the sea, in accordance with the new UK legislation to protect the environment.

ConsumerConnect learnt Therese Coffrey, Environment Secretary, is expected to announce plans next week to remove the £250,000 maximum fine on civil penalties for companies that break the rules.

The UK environment regulatory agency is also seeking to strengthen its ability to impose sanctions on water companies without going through the courts, Bloomberg report said.

Authorities also disclosed the fines would be reinvested in a new Water Restoration Fund, which would work with local communities and groups to improve water quality and support projects to improve management of waters and restore protected sites in the country.

Penalties and fines will be taken from water company profits, not customers, report noted.

It is also stated that 10 water and sewage companies within England, in 2022, released sewage into rivers and the sea on 301,091 occasions, with United Utilities and Yorkshire Water responsible for 40 percent of the spills.

Therese Coffrey, in a statement, said: “I want to make sure that regulators have the powers and tools to take tough action against companies that are breaking the rules and to do so more quickly.”

On UK’s ‘Plan for Water’ project

The British Government’s ‘Plan for Water’ will also include measures against other forms of pollution, such as storm overflows, agriculture, plastics, road run-off, chemicals and pesticides.

The proposals will be published within a consultation Tuesday, April 4, 2023, according to report.

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