Sewage: Waste Disposal

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 16 March 2023.

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Photo of Lord Sikka Lord Sikka Labour

To ask His Majesty's Government what legislation enables (1) water and environmental regulators, or (2) the Secretary of State, to levy personal fines or bring criminal prosecutions against directors of water companies for authorising dumping of raw sewage into rivers and seas.

Photo of Lord Benyon Lord Benyon The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Water and Sewerage Company activities are regulated by the Environment Agency under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016. Pursuant to those Regulations the Agency may bring criminal prosecutions against Water and Sewerage Companies and against Directors or other officers of those companies. The relevant provisions of those regulations can be found here: The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 ( The Environment Agency does not levy personal fines. Fines are set and imposed by the criminal courts after the conviction of an offender as part of the sentencing process.

Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (pdf, 2746.0KB)

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