Water company fines to improve water quality welcome if they are invested in the right places

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Sewage being discharged into a river.

The Government has announced that money from the fines handed out to polluting water companies will be re-invested in schemes that benefit our natural environment. WildFish welcome this news but reiterate that the fines put in place will need to be targeted on righting the wrongs.

WildFish have three asks for the re-investment of this money:

Invest in resources

In the first instance, the money should be ploughed into giving the regulators the resources they need to hold the polluters to account.

Incentivise a reaction 

The practice of polluters treating fines as a cost of doing business has to stop. The fines need to incentivise a reaction.

Fix the problem 

The money needs to be channeled into fixing the problems. Too often the money and resources do not address or rectify the underlying pollution problem.

We welcome pollution fines being directed to the environment rather than swallowed by the Treasury but, for this to have any meaning, the Environment Agency and Ofwat need to be properly resourced to enforce the existing regulation – which we suspect is routinely broken by water companies.

Nick Measham

CEO, WildFish

WildFish believe that this announcement may be a welcome sign that, under the new Chair, Alan Lovell, the EA is focussing on its role as an environmental regulator first and foremost.

  • Fergus
    7th December 2022

    Would like to donate to your SOC challenge. Bank details please

  • user1_immy
    7th December 2022

    Hi Fergus, please contact our team via info@wildfish.org – they will be happy to assist you in making a donation. Thank you for your support.

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