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Southern Water fined £ 90million for dumping sewage that polluted parts of Kent, Hampshire and Sussex | UK News

Southern Water has been fined a record £ 90million after pleading guilty to dumping sewage thousands of times in the space of five years.

The company admitted to causing 6,971 illegal sewage discharges between 2010 and 2015, which lasted a total of 61,704 hours, the equivalent of a continuous leak from a pipe for more than seven years.

Tons of garbage have polluted rivers and coastal waters in Kent, Hampshire and Sussex over the five-year period, causing significant damage to protected areas, conservation sites and oyster beds.

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The case is the largest criminal investigation in the Environment Agency’s 25-year history and saw Southern Water formally plead guilty to 51 pollution offenses from 16 wastewater treatment plants and a storm overflow.

Sentencing at Canterbury Crown Court, the Honorable Mr. Justice Johnson said the company’s behavior was “shocking”.

He said: “Each of the 51 offenses taken in isolation shows a shocking and general disregard for the environment, for the precious and delicate ecosystems along the coasts of northern Kent and the Solent, for human health, and for fishing and other legitimate businesses that depend on the vitality of coastal waters. “

The court also heard how Southern Water deliberately portrayed compliance with the Environment Agency, hampering proper regulation of the company.

The agency’s successful lawsuits won the largest environmental pollution fine by a water company to date.

Environment Agency President Emma Howard Boyd said, “With nature in crisis, no one should profit from violating environmental laws.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow blamed the coronavirus crisis for the new delay
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow

“This conviction shows that fines for environmental crimes are starting to hit the same level as the highest fines for crimes in financial services and that’s good.

“Polluters must pay, the …

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This notice was published: 2021-07-09 16:05:00

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