Conservative MPs vote to continue to allow the discharge of wastewater without legal penalties, targets or deadlines.


Members apparently like it.

Conservative MPs voted to approve a government amendment that will allow the continued discharge of raw sewage into rivers and the sea through CSOs. The bill was passed by 283 votes to 163 with only one Conservative MP voting against.

All coastal Conservative MPs voted to allow wastewater to continue to be discharged through CSOs without legal penalty.

They repeated claims by Water, the water companies lobby group, that the cleanup would cost £ 600bn – a figure that appears to have come out of nowhere and none of the NGOs or experts deem necessary !

The stormwater task force said a plan to reduce spills from thunderstorm overflows to an average of ten per year in sensitive areas could cost only between $ 13.5 billion and $ 21.7 billion. of pounds sterling.

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said:

“There are no targets in terms of volume or timing, in which case it leaves the water companies the power to continue what they are doing now.”

Which is a sewage dump of course.

“We are extremely disappointed that the government has decided not to support the Duke of Wellington’s tougher amendment, which would have given them more powers to deal with the emergency of sewage pollution in our rivers and oceans. ”

Said Hugo Tagholm of SAS,

“The government has failed to seize the opportunity, in this most pressing environmental decade, to set an example for water companies to say, ‘If you pollute, you fix, you pay.

“#PeoplePower has forced the government to put in place measures it says will work. Now let’s make sure they do what they say. Our fight continues. We must harness this momentum and force the water industry to provide thriving rivers and seas for people and wildlife.

“Today is just one day in the fight against #EndSewagePollution. Until we see the evidence of action – less wastewater discharge; our rivers meet ecological standards, our bathing water at the top of the rankings; and rivers suitable for swimming, we will not remain silent.

The bill that “requires” that “water companies reduce wastewater discharges” has no targets or penalties and allows the discharge to continue for years to come.

Defra has backed MPs, but as we all know, Defra, Ofwat and the Environment Agency have taken little or no action over the past 30 years to stop releases of CSO. So there is little hope that they will escalate now.

Only one Tory MP, Philip Davies, voted against the government’s plans along with Labor and Liberal Democrats.

Shadow Labor Environment Secretary Luke Pollard said

“There is no specific obligation for Ofwat or the Environment Agency to ensure compliance – and there should be – and we need to focus on damage reduction rather than negative impacts. . It seems to look busy without making a real difference.

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said:

“There are no targets in terms of volume or timing, in which case it leaves the water companies the power to continue what they are doing now. It is something that gets the Conservative backbenchers out of the woods rather than giving the water companies the direction they need.

Private water companies that have paid dividends of over £ 57bn to shareholders and millions to directors each year have vastly underinvested in CSOs, while water treatment chemical shortages induced by Brexit led the Environment Agency to allow companies to “discharge effluents.” without fulfilling the conditions ”of their permits.


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