Ruth Edwards MP has welcomed the Government’s announcement today, that they will introduce unlimited fines on water companies who pollute our rivers and seas.
As previously set out in the Government’s Plan for Water, all of the money raised from water company fines, will be reinvested into a Water Restoration Fund.
These will deliver on the ground improvements to local water quality. By removing the £250,000 limit on civil fines, more money will be available to fund and support local groups and community-led schemes which help to restore and improve water quality.
Improving water quality is a top priority of Ruth’s, who visited the East Midlands office of the Environment Agency last month, to learn more about the monitoring work they do.
Their team of ecologists showed Ruth their lab and demonstrated some techniques that they use to study water quality and analyse the ecology of rivers.
Scientists can determine what contaminates are in a river and where they came from simply by looking at the types of species that live in it.
The number of serious pollution incidents from water companies has declined by 92% over the last 30-years, but there is far more work to do. Currently, 21 rivers in the East Midlands have a ‘good’ ecological rating, and the Government is determined to improve on this.
The new ability to impose unlimited fines will give regulators greater ability to hold polluters to account.
Ruth has been campaigning since her election in 2019 for infrastructure upgrades to sewage systems in Rushcliffe, to help tackle flooding and stop pollution from storm overflows.
As part of this, she has secured a multi-million-pound investment from Severn-Trent, including three new pumping stations and improvements to the pipelines between East Leake, Widmerpool and Willoughby on the Wolds.
“I am delighted that the Government has taken this step to improve water quality in our rivers and seas.
“Whilst I know that many companies are committed to improving their environmental impact, we need to be able to hold those that do not to account.
“Clean water in our rivers is important for wildlife and improving biodiversity.
“It is also important for residents to be able to enjoy local water spots without worrying about pollution.
“I will work hard to make sure pollution is reduced and the water quality continues to improve.”