Local MP, Robert Halfon, has responded to the announcement that fines against water companies will be reinvested to enhance our natural environment and to protect our waterways.
Last year, fines for dumping in our waterways reached an all time high. Since 2015, over £141 million has been raised through penalties against reckless water companies. Furthermore, new Government rules mean water companies are now required to invest £56 billion to improve and upgrade our water infrastructure.
Robert commented, “Whether in my own garden, visiting the many green spaces in Harlow or holidaying in national parks up and down the UK, I love nothing more than spending time in nature and am a passionate advocate for ensuring our natural environment is protected.
“This includes protecting our waterways and coastlines which is why I have voted in favour of:
- Greater penalties for water companies who do not meet the environmental standards required, such as the record breaking fine handed to Southern Water last year.
- £7.1 billion investment by water companies to improve water quality, including £3.1 billion dedicated to improving storm overflow use.
- Establishing the Office for Environmental Protection as an environmental watchdog.
- New powers to regulate water companies, the Environment Agency and the Government.
- A legal obligation on water companies to publish data on storm overflow operations in near real time (within 1 hour) of the commencement of an overflow, its location and when it will end.
“I welcome today’s announcement that fines for water companies that pollute our rivers and seas will be reinvested into schemes which serve to benefit and protect our natural environment.”