From a correspondent:
Is the government now starting to really try to get a grip on the disgraceful state of our rivers and beaches or will all this vanish under a new tory prime minister?
There will be an amendment included in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill that will ensure water companies “take urgent action to tackle pollution from nutrients where they are threatening some of our most precious habitats”. This theoretically means the water companies will have to upgrade sewage works to reduce this form of pollution. In 2019 Environment Agency data found that one third of rivers were failing to meet ecological standards because of excess phosphorus.
But then there is also the Home Builders Federation which is lobbying hard to halt Natural England’s guidance to English councils to limit development where phosphates and sulphates were judged to be at dangerous levels and would damage the habitats of protected sites. We have already seen this in our LPA with regard to pollution in the Axe.
The attitude of the Federation is to call this “Environmental Red Tape”.
I must applaud this next step in reducing high pollution as we will still have combined sewer outflows into our rivers until 2050. George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, has given the water companies until then to cut sewer spills by 80%!
Or will the new PM cancel this, giving priority to “build, build, build” at any cost?
What legacies are we leaving our grandchildren?