Waste Disposal

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 14 February 2024.

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Photo of Julian Knight Julian Knight Independent, Solihull

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department holds data on the number of environmental permits issued by the Environment Agency for the purposes of discharging (a) liquid effluent and (b) waste water to (i) surface water and (ii) the ground in each year since 2015.

Photo of Robbie Moore Robbie Moore The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The number of environmental permits issued by the Environment Agency for the purposes of discharging liquid effluent and waste water (both surface and ground) each year since 2015 is as follows. Note that the figure for 2023 does not represent the total for that year as the data set is incomplete.

2015 – 943

2016 – 1206

2017 – 1134

2018 – 1108

2019 – 1085

2020 – 1245

2021 – 1208

2022 – 1388

2023 – 1370

Total – 10687

These figures indicate the number of new water quality permits issued by year.

Under Section 22 of ‘the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016, the Environment Agency has the power to revoke an environmental permit in whole or in part. This can happen for several reasons including operator competence or poor compliance with regulatory (permit) requirements, which means not all permits issued remain in place.

More widely the Environment Agency is strengthening the way it regulates the water industry, with 100% of storm overflows in England now monitored and more than 12,000 storm overflow permits updated with stricter conditions since 2015. This ongoing work to modernise our permit stock will ensure the unacceptable number of spills into our waterways is reduced.

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