Calls for tougher fines to stop water companies from dumping sewage
Environmental Agency affairs are not the only form of enforcement of pollution offenses. The financial regulator Ofwat also has the power to sanction water companies for not treating wastewater properly, including financial penalties.
Fines imposed for pollution can be imposed by the courts or come directly from the EA, using a measure called an enforcement commitment.
“We would like the fines to increase”
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: âSince 2015, the Environment Agency has taken 48 lawsuits against water companies, imposing fines of over Â£ 136 million.
“We are happy to see the courts imposing higher fines, but we would like to see them increase further.
“We would also like criminal courts to apply sanctions in a consistent and proportionate manner, and we would welcome the most serious breaches by very large companies facing sanctions based on a percentage of turnover.”
A spokesperson for the Water UK industry group said there had been “Â£ 160 billion in investment since the 1990s – made despite bills that had remained roughly the same for more than a decade, with some of the largest water companies waiving all investor dividends for several years.
“These dividends that are paid will often go to pension funds and other institutions with long-term holdings, and allow companies to raise funds efficiently – one of the reasons productivity has increased by 60% over the past year. the period.”
A spokeswoman for Anglian Water said she did not recognize the numbers, adding: ‘Any profit generated during this period has to be seen alongside the massive Â£ 4.5bn capital investment carried out during the same period. “
A Northumbrian Water spokesperson said: “Our regulators, Ofwat and the Environment Agency, have rated Northumbrian Water Limited as an industry leader in pollution for the past three years.”