As we enter the final stages of the Environment Bill’s passage through parliament we have one last chance to ensure the Bill helps #EndSewagePollution by placing a legal duty on water companies to end their use of CSOs.
The #EndSewagePollution campaign, which thousands if you took part in, has sent shockwaves right across the UK and has already started to reshape the law. As a result of our petition and the support we generated behind the Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill the government have now made some really important changes to the Environment Bill.
- Water Companies now have to provide real-time information to the public all year round when a CSO discharges.
- Water Companies have to monitor and report the effect that discharges have on water quality.
- The government have also committed to make a plan to tackle sewage pollution.
But, so far government have not changed the Bill to ensure action is taken right away to tackle sewage pollution. This needs to change and we need your help to make it happen.
We are calling on government to introduce a legal duty on water companies to do everything they can to ensure they stop discharging raw sewage into the rivers and ocean. We are already halfway there. Just a few weeks ago, when the Bill was in the House of Lords, a cross party group of peers passed amendment 60 (to clause 80) which places the legal duty on water companies not to pollute. But without the backing of MPs this duty risks been stripped out of the final law.
That’s why we are calling on you to write to your MP and ask that they support the amendment (to clause 80) and this legal duty not to pollute when the Bill comes back to the House of Commons.
We have the power to make change happen, so write to your MP and demand they PIPE UP for rivers.
Environment Bill: The Environment Bill is a key piece of new law that will govern how the environment will be protected and restored in the UK for years to come. The Bill includes measures to improve water quality, biodiversity and tackle plastic pollution and sets up a new regulator to make sure the government is doing its job. The whole Bill applies to England but only parts apply to Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill: This is the Bill which we at Surfers Against Sewage helped to write and which thousands of you emailed your MP to support. Unfortunately, the bill ran out of time to be made into law, but the support you generated for it has been really important in putting pressure on government to make change
Legal Duty to end the use of CSO’s: This basically means that water companies have to take all reasonable steps to ensure untreated sewage is not discharged from combined sewage overflows and if they don’t they are breaking the law and could be punished.
Amendment: An amendment is just a change to the text of a draft law which a politician or group of politicians’ want to make. Parliament have to vote to decide if they want to make this change permanent and include the new text into the Bill.