WildFish issues legal challenge to Government’s sewage plan

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  • Wildfish
  • Wildfish
  • Wildfish
  • Wildfish

WildFish has issued a ‘letter before action’, the first step in potential judicial review proceedings, to the Government, asking for the Storm Overflow Discharge Reduction Plan (issued on Friday 26th August) to be withdrawn on the basis that it is unlawful.

“WildFish’ lawyers have concluded that DEFRA’s much vaunted Storm Overflow Discharge Reduction Plan, issued last Friday, is unlawful on many counts.

Nick Measham

CEO, WildFish

Commenting on the Storm Overflow Discharge Reduction Plan, Nick continued:

“the plan’s central ‘headline target’ is, in effect, a plan to allow up to 100% of storm overflows that are currently discharging in or close to ‘high priority sites’ to continue to cause adverse ecological impact to those sites for the next 13 years to 2035, and to allow up to 25% of those same storm overflows  to continue to cause adverse ecological impact for a further 10 years to 2045. The plan will also allow up to 100% of storm overflows discharging anywhere else to continue to cause adverse ecological impact for the next 28 years to 2050.

In short, the plan envisages, allows or otherwise encourages the continuation of breaches of existing environmental laws by the water companies, OFWAT and the Secretary of State himself, for many years to come, in some cases until 2050.

The Storm Overflow Discharge Reduction Plan is, in fact, a classic ‘smoke and mirrors’ exercise by a Government that has no real appetite to deal robustly with the appalling sewage pollution of English rivers caused by water companies.

We have asked the Government to withdraw this plan. We will see in due course how DEFRA responds”.

  • terry miall
    31st August 2022

    It is time that all water campanys came under a much stricter government department of which is able to to deal directly with the sewage disharge/polution /purification.Also they should be able to set budgets verses profits for water companies to tackle sewage/polution etc

  • Pete Barclay
    12th September 2022

    If the water companies could keep the rivers and seas clean when the UK was part of the European Union and make profits, why can’t they do it now we have left the EU?

  • Keith Jones
    14th September 2022

    If the current government will not deliver the necessary changes in the law to prosecute water companies continued pollution of our rivers, then it’s time to vote for a government that will .
    Ask which party would make it a priority.

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