Amendments 61 to 63

Environment Bill - Report (3rd Day) – in the House of Lords at 8:18 pm on 13th September 2021.

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Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park:

Moved by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park

61: After Clause 80, insert the following new Clause—“Reporting on discharges from storm overflowsIn Chapter 4 of Part 4 of the Water Industry Act 1991 (as inserted by section 80 above), after section 141D insert—“141DA Reporting on discharges from storm overflows(1) Where there is a discharge from a storm overflow of a sewerage undertaker whose area is wholly or mainly in England, the undertaker must publish the following information—(a) that there has been a discharge from the storm overflow;(b) the location of the storm overflow;(c) when the discharge began;(d) when the discharge ended.(2) The information referred to in subsection (1)(a) to (c) must be published within an hour of the discharge beginning; and that referred to in subsection (1)(d) within an hour of it ending.(3) The information must—(a) be in a form which allows the public readily to understand it, and(b) be published in a way which makes it readily accessible to the public.(4) The duty of a sewerage undertaker under this section is enforceable under section 18 by—(a) the Secretary of State, or(b) the Authority, with the consent of or in accordance with a general authorisation given by the Secretary of State.(5) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for exceptions from the duty in subsection (1) or (2) (for example, by reference to descriptions of storm overflows, frequency of discharge or the level of risk to water quality).(6) Before making regulations under this section the Secretary of State must consult such persons as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.(7) The Secretary of State may not make regulations under this section unless a draft of the statutory instrument containing the regulations has been laid before, and approved by resolution of, each House of Parliament.””Member’s explanatory statementThis amendment requires sewerage undertakers in England to report in near-real time on the duration of storm overflow discharges.

62: After Clause 80, insert the following new Clause—“Monitoring quality of water potentially affected by discharges(1) In Chapter 4 of Part 4 of the Water Industry Act 1991, after section 141DA insert—“141DB Monitoring quality of water potentially affected by discharges from storm overflows and sewage disposal works(1) A sewerage undertaker whose area is wholly or mainly in England must continuously monitor the quality of water upstream and downstream of an asset within subsection (2) for the purpose of obtaining the information referred to in subsection (3).(2) The assets referred to in subsection (1) are—(a) a storm overflow of the sewerage undertaker, and(b) sewage disposal works comprised in the sewerage system of the sewerage undertaker,where the storm overflow or works discharge into a watercourse.(3) The information referred to in subsection (1) is information as to the quality of the water by reference to—(a) levels of dissolved oxygen,(b) temperature and pH values,(c) turbidity,(d) levels of ammonia, and(e) anything else specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State.(4) The duty of a sewerage undertaker under this section is enforceable under section 18 by—(a) the Secretary of State, or(b) the Authority, with the consent of or in accordance with a general authorisation given by the Secretary of State.(5) The Secretary of State may by regulations make —(a) provision as how the duty under subsection (1) is to be carried out (for example, provision as to the type of monitor to be used and where monitors must be placed);(b) provision for exceptions from the duty in subsection (1) (for example, by reference to descriptions of asset, frequency of discharge from an asset or the level of risk to water quality);(c) provision for the publication by sewerage undertakers of information obtained pursuant to subsection (1).(6) Before making regulations under this section the Secretary of State must consult such persons as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.(7) The Secretary of State may not make regulations under this section unless a draft of the statutory instrument containing the regulations has been laid before, and approved by resolution of, each House of Parliament.”(2) In section 213 of the Water Industry Act 1991 (power to make regulations) in subsection (1), for “or 105A” substitute “105A, 141DA or 141DB”.”Member’s explanatory statementThis amendment requires sewerage undertakers to monitor and report on the quality of water in watercourses potentially impacted by discharges from storm overflows and sewage disposal works.

63: After Clause 80, insert the following new Clause—“Report on elimination of discharges from storm overflows(1) The Secretary of State must prepare a report on— (a) the actions that would be needed to eliminate discharges from the storm overflows of sewerage undertakers whose areas are wholly or mainly in England, and(b) the costs and benefits of those actions.(2) The Secretary of State must publish the report before 1 September 2022.(3) The report must be laid before Parliament once it is published.”Member’s explanatory statementThis amendment requires the Secretary of State to produce a report on the actions that would be needed to eliminate discharges from storm overflows in England, and their costs and benefits, before 1 September 2022.

Amendments 61 to 63 agreed.

Consideration on Report adjourned until not before 9.19 pm.