North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald has welcomed Government legislation to strengthen environmental civil sanctions and provide the environmental regulators with the tools they need to hold operators to account. Unlimited variable monetary penalties will be introduced for offences under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016, so the Environment Agency has the tools it needs to change the behaviour of organisations who break the law.
The legislation follows the Government’s recent consultation, first announced in the Plan for Water, which received overwhelming support from the public. The Plan for Water marks a step change in how our waters are managed, for water quality and water resources.
Recent Government action includes plans to enshrine the Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan further in law through a new statutory target, a requirement for all water companies to provide an action plan for every storm overflow in the country, and new powers for Ofwat that will enable it to take enforcement action against water companies that do not link dividend payments for performance for both customers and the environment.
Commenting, Sir Oliver said: “I welcome this new legislation for tackling pollution and to know that all funding from fines and penalties given to water companies that pollute our rivers and seas will be invested in schemes that benefit our natural environment.”