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Water industry pledges to invest its way out of sewage crisis despite missing spending targets

Sam Hall, director of the Conservative Environment Network – an influential Westminster body backed by green Tory MPs – believed the government has been taking a tougher approach in recent years to ensure fines aren’t “just the cost of doing business.”

However, he urged the government to lift the cap on fines and called on Downing Street to introduce more policies to boost water quality alongside the stick of financial penalties for sewage spills.

Hall said: “While fines for criminal prosecutions are not capped, lifting the small £250,000 cap on civil offence fines for polluting water firms is an opportunity to ensure polluters always pay, even in less environmental severe breaches.

“The upcoming consultation on scrapping the cap is a welcome step. But more needs to be done to drive improvements to water quality, like designating more bathing water sites to empower communities with data to hold polluters accountable and rolling out new payments for farmers to reduce agricultural runoff.”

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