Court hearing over a licence to pollute

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 30 November -0001

Court hearing over a licence to pollute Six of the biggest water companies in England and Wales are launching a legal appeal against the Environment Agency which has sought to impose licenses on 4,193 combined sewer overflows (CSO), 20 years after Parliament was promised that these sewage pipes would be properly licensed.

Court hearing over a licence to pollute Six of the biggest water companies in England and Wales are launching a legal appeal against the Environment Agency which has sought to impose licenses on 4,193 combined sewer overflows (CSO), 20 years after Parliament was promised that these sewage pipes would be properly licensed. The hearing, which started in Cardiff on Tuesday 19th January, is seen as a crucial test of will with ecologists and pressure groups concerned that the Agency will be outgunned by the water companies’ financial firepower. “We have over 4000 sewer overflow pipes which were not properly licensed when the water industry was privatised in 1989, Ø said Thomas Bell, coastal pollution officer at MCS. “In effect, the companies operating these pipes have retained a license to pollute.” The Environment Agency should regulate when these sewer overflow pipes can be used and MCS has campaigned for years to see that all these outlets are properly licensed and regulated. Thomas Bell continued: “The discharge conditions imposed last April on these 4000 unlicensed CSOs were reasonable and for the water companies to appeal them en masse is ridiculous.” Read this report in the Sunday Express.

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