To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the financial impact on small and local business of rivers, lakes and seas being unswimmable as a result of sewage pollution.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential financial impact to small and local business based near beaches and rivers of days rendered unswimmable as a result of sewage pollution.
The Government has not made an assessment of the impact on riverside SMEs of local sewage pollution.
However, the Government has been clear that the water industry’s levels of sewage discharges from storm overflows are unacceptable and has made tackling this a priority. We are the first Government to take concerted action to tackle this historic infrastructure issue, including through the Environment Act. The provisions in the Environment Act place a duty on the water industry to achieve a progressive reduction in the adverse impacts caused by storm overflows. These include adverse impacts on public health.
The Government will publish a report before 1 September 2022 on the actions necessary, including the costs and benefits of the elimination of storm overflows. The report will consider a range of benefits, including those to business.