River Action’s response to the Office for Environmental Protection report, published today, which shows progress to ensure rivers reach good ecological status by 2027 is “largely off track”.
James Wallace, CEO of River Action UK, says, “It is no surprise that the Government’s own regulator – the OEP – gives a largely damning report on progress towards legally binding targets.
“After 14 years of cutbacks for environmental regulation, our rivers, wildlife and water security are in a dire state. Next we need the OEP to unleash its full armoury in pursuit of the many complaints of Government malpractice, incompetence and illegality with ferocity and urgency, and to pressure the Government to do its job: incentivise sustainable farming and waste management, ensure water companies are structured and financed to serve their customers, and ensure Ofwat and the Environment agency are reformed and resourced to monitor polluters and enforce the law.
“CEO’s of profiteering corporations like Thames Water should be quaking in their boots at the thought of penalties and prosecution, not laughing all the way to the bank. We are in a freshwater emergency and desperately need leadership and action, not broken promises and kowtowing to international shareholders.”
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