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English water company bosses threatened with jail for sewage pollution

CEOs and board members of the UK water companies responsible for the most serious sewage pollution should be jailed, the regulator said on Thursday when it revealed that their environmental performance had deteriorated further.

In an exciting annual report on the performance of water companies in keeping water clean, the Environment Agency also said that the directors of the companies should be fired and businesses are expected to face higher fines.

The call for repression came when the companies’ performance in sewage pollution dropped to the lowest level recorded in a decade, which proves that they “did not shy away” from the Penalties Issued by the courts, the agency said.

There were 62 “serious” pollution incidents in 2021, up from 44 in 2020, and the highest since 2013, the Environment Agency said. More than half of the serious incidents were from three water companies: English Water, Southern Water and Thames Water.

The agency did not say what the threshold for infection should be for imprisonment.

The Financial Times revealed that Anglian paid a Dividend of £ 92 million Last month to its owners, a clutch of private capital, sovereign capital and pension funds. Peter Simpson, England’s CEO, and Steve Buck, its CFO, together received more than £ 2.2 million in bonuses, as well as their combined base salary of more than £ 900,000 in 2021.

Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, said: “For years people have seen managers and investors being nicely rewarded while the environment pays the price.

“Company executives let this happen. We plan to make it too painful for them to continue like this. The amount that can be fined on a company for environmental offenses is unlimited, but the fines currently given by the courts usually amount to less than a CEO’s salary. We need the courts to impose much higher fines. “Investors should no longer see England’s water monopolies as a one-way gamble.”

The worst performers were Southern Water, which was taken over by Australian bank Macquarie last August after swinging on the verge of bankruptcy last year. The company provides water and sewage services to 4.2 million customers in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and last year received a record £ 90 million A fine for deliberately dumping billions of liters of sewage into rivers and coastal waters.

Southwest Water, Which is owned by the listed Pennon group, has performed equally poorly, while England, Thames, Wessex Water and Yorkshire Water have received only slightly good ratings, and have been told they require significant improvement.

The proposed explosion comes as the industry faces its biggest wave of protests since it was privatized more than 30 years ago, when activists, from the Windrush Against Sewage Group in Oxfordshire to Ilkley Clean River in Yorkshire, are trying to force action from companies and policymakers.

Only 16 per cent of coastal waterways and rivers in England and Wales meet minimum EU standards due to Frequent discharges of untreated effluent And who storms, said the Environment Agency.

Although privatization was intended Stimulate investment, It has fallen by almost a fifth in the last 30 years, from £ 2.9 billion a year in the 1990s to £ 2.4 billion now, according to a FT study. At the same time, the companies, privatized without debt, provided £ 53 billion, equivalent to about £ 2,000 per household. Much of it has been used to help pay dividends of £ 72 billion.

Mike Kill, senior director of the Water Consumer Council, said he supports the proposals. “This report marks a new low in the environmental performance of the water industry and raises serious doubts as to whether some of the water and sewage companies that will handle the water environment can be trusted.”

Water UK, which represents the industry, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

English water company bosses threatened with jail for sewage pollution Source link English water company bosses threatened with jail for sewage pollution

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