A cocktail of pollutants will freely enter the UK’s rivers because of Storm Ciarán, heaping more misery on our ecologically degraded rivers, warns River Action.
In response to the nationwide river emergency, River Action is calling for more investment in environment regulators to clamp down on river polluters.
CEO of River Action James Wallace says that the last decade and a half has seen a systemic collapse in environmental protection with regulatory agencies defunded and regulations designed to protect rivers from pollution deliberately not enforced.
“The government has cut 70% of the environmental protection budgets of the Environmental Agency over the last decade and a half. This has allowed the water companies and intensive agriculture sector, supplying large supermarket chains, to pollute with impunity for profit over the environment.
“It is critical that the Government enforces the existing regulations that are in place to mitigate heavy rain polluting our rivers. This is now more urgent than ever because of climate change leading to more extreme weather events.”
Mr Wallace adds, “There is an understandable focus on protecting lives and property at risk from storms such as Ciarán. However, these increasingly frequent extreme situations will also place huge environmental stress on our fragile river ecosystems, given the huge volumes of sewage discharge and agricultural run-off that will ensue.”
Charters for Rivers – restoring the health of the UK’s rivers by 2023
River Action’s Charter for Rivers sets out what political parties must do now to restore our rivers to health by 2030. Learn about the Charter here.
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