According to the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, under new UK environmental rules, water firms will face a limitless penalties for contaminating rivers and the sea.
The environment secretary, Therese Coffrey, will make plans public next week to eliminate the $250,000 maximum fine for civil penalties against businesses that violate the law. The environment agency is also working to improve its capacity to penalize water firms directly, outside of the legal system.
The money collected in fines will go into a new Water Restoration Fund, which will work with neighborhood organizations and communities to enhance water quality, fund initiatives to enhance water management, and restore protected areas. The water company’s revenues, not the customers’, will be used to pay penalties and fines.
United Utilities and Yorkshire Water were responsible for 40% of the sewage leaks last year, which occurred on 301,091 times across 10 water and sewerage firms in England.
Therese Coffrey stated in a statement, “I want to ensure that authorities have the authority and resources to act swiftly and harshly against firms that are breaching the law.
Measures against other types of pollution, such as storm overflows, agriculture, plastics, road run-off, and chemicals and pesticides, will also be included of the government’s “Plan for Water.”
On Tuesday, the suggestions will be made public as part of a survey.