Fifteen environmental projects are to benefit from over £2million given in payments by companies and individuals that have broken environmental laws.
The money, a total of £2,223,121.54, from 15 Enforcement Undertakings is going to projects that benefit the environment including cleaning up and enhancing parks, rivers and beaches. It comes from payments for environmental offences including pollution of rivers or the sea, not meeting permit conditions or not taking reasonable steps to recover packaging waste.
The payments include the Environment Agency’s largest ever financial contribution of £975,000 offered by Wessex Water Services Limited for an environmental offence involving sewage spills at Swanage in Dorset. These funds will benefit Dorset Waste Partnership, which will receive £400,000, Dorset Litter Free Coast and Sea Project (£100,000), Purbeck District Council/Swanage Town Council (£400,000) and Durlston Country Park and Nature Reserve (£75,000).
The other 14 payments range from £5,000 – £232,000, including:
- United Utilities Water Limited – £232,000 benefitting Mersey Rivers Trust (£90,000) and Community Forest Trust (£142,000) for discharging sewage into a brook
- Yorkshire Water Services Limited – £200,000 benefitting Yorkshire Wildlife Trust for polluting a river
- Northumbrian Water Limited – £135,000 benefitting Durham Wildlife Trust (£45,000), Wear Rivers Trust (£45,000), Marine Conservation Society (£45,000) for polluting a stream
As well as making a payment to an appropriate charity or project, these companies have accepted liability, demonstrated restoration of harm and will make improvements to avoid future offences.
Peter Kellett, Director of Legal Services from the Environment Agency said:
“When companies damage the environment whether it is through polluting our waters or breaching permit conditions, we will take enforcement action against them including civil sanctions.
“We take these environmental incidents very seriously and these payments of more than £2.2 million direct to charities will help them carry out vital projects to improve our environment right across England.”
Ellie Brodie, Senior Policy Manager, The Wildlife Trusts said:
“Obviously, we would have been happier if these incidents hadn’t occurred at all. However, it’s a good principle that polluters should offer redress for the damage they cause. The money will enable work which will benefit wildlife and wild places, and which otherwise wouldn’t be funded. We hope these payments serve as a reminder to business of its responsibility towards a clean and healthy environment; and also have a deterrent effect as it’s clearly cheaper to do things cleanly, rather than risk creating pollution.”
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