In court: Anglian Water agrees to a £50,000 enforcement undertaking
- Legislation ,
- Pollution & Waste Management
Pollution: Water company Anglian Water is to pay £50,000 to an environmental charity, after a manhole overflowed with black sludge and grey liquid into a watercourse in Bedfordshire because of a blocked sewer.
The Environment Agency confirmed that an enforcement undertaking has been agreed, whereby Anglian would put right any damage caused by the pollution and donate to an environmental charity. It has also paid back the agency’s incurred costs of £3,451.
The money will benefit the local environment of Nene Valley and Ouse Valley Living Landscape areas, and is to be donated to the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.
The sewer blockage occurred in 2015 in the branch from Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre and included single-use shampoo sachets provided by the centre for its residents. The Environment Agency classified the incident as ‘Category 2’, owing to raised ammonia levels in the watercourse at Highfield Farm, near Ravensden.
Since the stretch of sewer was transferred to Anglian in 2011, there had been six blockages in the same area. Nothing had been mapped on its system until after this latest incident.
Chris Tate, team leader at the Environment Agency, said: “Enforcement undertakings allow those who commit offences to restore the environment and take steps to prevent a recurrence. When appropriate, they allow a quicker resolution than a prosecution, and help offenders who are prepared to take responsibility for their actions to put things right voluntarily.”
Anglian has confirmed that practices for checking the sewer and at the immigration centre have since changed.
Devolving power from central government to local authorities will be critical for the UK as it looks to deliver on its environmental targets. Chris Seekings reports
The UK government has been “too city-focused” in its climate action and must provide more funding and support to reduce emissions in rural areas, the County Councils Network (CCN) has said.
COVID-19 offers the world a huge chance to beat a path to sustainability, says Oxford University professor Ian Goldin – but we must learn from past crises, he tells Huw Morris
The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.
The UK's largest defined benefit (DB) pension schemes have received a letter from the Make My Money Matter campaign urging them to set net-zero emission targets ahead of the COP26 climate summit later this year.
The sale of new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) will be banned in the UK by 2040 under proposals unveiled in the government's transport decarbonisation plan yesterday.