Water pollution

‘Disgraceful’: EA accused of selectively testing river quality at flagship bathing water site ...

‘Disgraceful’: EA accused of selectively testing river quality at flagship bathing water site

The Environment Agency is being accused of not properly monitoring the bathing waters of the newly designated river Wharfe in Ilkley because it is only testing water upstream of a sewage works, when many bathers swim downstream of the plant... Read more

Latest Analysis

Policy

Environment Bill briefing

Environment Bill briefing

Due to return in the next parliamentary session after its latest delay, it seems the Environment Bill will finally receive royal assent in the autumn. Since the bill was introduced, however, numerous amendments have been made and there remain a great many question marks surrounding key targets and the timetable for implementation, among other issues. Here's what you need to know

Regulation

Access denied: SEPA's battle to restore operations in the aftermath of a crippling cyber-attack

Access denied: SEPA's battle to restore operations in the aftermath of a crippling cyber-attack

It could take the Scottish Environment Protection Agency two years to fully recover from a cyber-attack that locked it out of most of its data and systems, according to the regulator. While a backlog of permit applications is building up, SEPA's boss says key activities are still being carried out

Industrial emissions

The lowdown on DEFRA’s plans for a new UK BAT process

The lowdown on DEFRA’s plans for a new UK BAT process

A consultation that closed on 18 April poses some important points about the future of ‘best available techniques’ post-Brexit, writes James Nierinck

Biodiversity / conservation

Interview: What guerilla rewilder Derek Gow thinks about beavers, civil servants and the demonisation of wolves

Interview: What guerilla rewilder Derek Gow thinks about beavers, civil servants and the demonisation of wolves

Guerilla rewilder Derek Gow has repeatedly argued for the benefits to biodiversity for having beavers in the landscape. He’d like to see other predators brought back too, but can he overcome resistance from those he sees as obstacles to progress?

Water

The debrief: How an innovative sewage treatment project could help clean up rivers

The debrief: How an innovative sewage treatment project could help clean up rivers

With water companies coming under increasing pressure to clean up their act in relation to river pollution, a project in Gloucestershire could offer a natural approach that delivers wider environmental benefits than traditional solutions

Chemicals

'A strange blight': Does the government's sustainable pesticides plan go far enough?

'A strange blight': Does the government's sustainable pesticides plan go far enough?

Will the government’s revised action plan for the sustainable use of pesticides be enough to quell concerns over their impact?

Waste water & sewage

MAPPED: the 100 sites that discharged the most untreated sewage in 2020

MAPPED: the 100 sites that discharged the most untreated sewage in 2020

Click through to view an interactive map with details of 100 sites that together discharged untreated sewage for more than 480,000 hours last year – each site on average dumping raw sewage for 200 days across 2020

Why the EA is under pressure to reform its water monitoring regime

Why the EA is under pressure to reform its water monitoring regime

The Environment Agency’s water monitoring regime has been under fire ever since insiders broke ranks to tell ENDS the system was an expensive and unscientific waste of time. The pandemic has meant that even less monitoring has taken place and even now it remains below pre-lockdown levels. Green groups are looking for change, reports Wil Crisp

Environmental Law

The key deadlines and policy changes to expect in the near future

The key deadlines and policy changes to expect in the near future

Risk review - second quarter, 2021: The most important prosecutions and court rulings of the past three months and the key compliance deadlines and policy changes to anticipate in the near future

Hazardous waste

MAPPED: England and Wales’ toxic legacy landfills

MAPPED: England and Wales’ toxic legacy landfills

An ENDS investigation has located hundreds of buried landfills containing hazardous waste across England and Wales. Search ENDS' map to see if there's one close to you

Air

‘Stop people dying’: Will a coroner’s report spur government to act on air pollution?

‘Stop people dying’: Will a coroner’s report spur government to act on air pollution?

Nine-year old girl Ella Adoo Kissi-Debrah became the first person to have air pollution listed on their death certificate, leading to increased pressure on government to take action to improve air quality. But will anything change? Isabella Kaminski reports

Latest news

Waste

British waste sent to Turkey ‘dumped and burned’

British plastic waste exported to Turkey is polluting the Mediterranean Sea, according to an investigation by Greenpeace, which has called for the Environment Bill to ban the trade

Fines Monitor Prosecutions

Serious river pollution sparks criminal investigation

The Environment Agency has launched a criminal investigation into the cause of pollution in a river, which has been covered in white foam for weeks

Environmental Politics

Date set for return of Environment Bill

The repeatedly delayed Environment Bill will return to Parliament on 26 May for a final commons debate on nature, the government has announced

Energy

‘Don’t believe the hydrogen hype’, NGOs tell Kwarteng

A push to roll out hydrogen-ready boilers and blend hydrogen into natural gas pipelines is a ‘Trojan horse’ for perpetuating fossil fuel dependency, according to a coalition of environmental groups

Compliance Deadlines

Plan ahead with our Calendar feature highlighting upcoming compliance deadlines

Compliance Search

Discover all ENDS content in one place, including legislation summaries to keep up to date with compliance deadlines

Editor’s pick

Water quality

MAPPED: England's healthiest – and most polluted – rivers

MAPPED: England's healthiest – and most polluted – rivers

The proportion of England’s rivers in good ecological health has plateaued at 14%, according to official classifications published last week, while the status of more than 100 has been rated as ‘bad’. Use ENDS’ map to view the locations of these water bodies

Chemical risks and hazards

A poisonous legacy: PCBs and the killer whale apocalypse

A group of banned toxic chemicals made decades ago are today harming orcas, porpoises and kestrels. Rachel Salvidge investigates an industrial legacy that refuses to die

Water pollution

Death on the Wye: Is chicken manure destroying the ecology of the river?

The polluted state of the river Wye hit the headlines this year. Campaigners say chicken farms are to blame and NRW has launched a review but is it likely to satisfy anyone? Adam Branson investigates

Fines Monitor Civil sanctions

UPDATED: The ENDS Report enforcement undertakings database

UPDATED: Details of nearly 30 new enforcement undertakings with a value of more than £1.5m have been added to the ENDS Report enforcement undertakings database, as the use of the civil sanction as a tool to deal with environmental offences continues to grow. Click through for the full list, compiled by ENDS

Data & insight

Water

Infographic: Focus on sewage spills in England

Infographic: Focus on sewage spills in England

One hundred sites discharged untreated sewage for more than 480,000 hours last year, this month's map of Environment Agency data shows

Regulation

Focus on: Persistently poor performers

Focus on: Persistently poor performers

The number of here persistently poorly managed sites increased in England in 2019, according to an analysis by ENDS and 87% of those sites were in the waste sector

Planning & land use

Focus on: pollution from abandoned metal mines

Focus on: pollution from abandoned metal mines

Britain’s landscape is littered with abandoned metal mines, many of which closed more than 100 years ago. They still pollute our rivers, harming fish, river insects and ecosystems

Case studies

Flooding

The debrief: How an innovative beach restoration scheme is helping to protect homes and industry from flooding

The debrief: How an innovative beach restoration scheme is helping to protect homes and industry from flooding

Concrete and rock have long been the go-to materials for coastal defences, but an innovative scheme on the Norfolk coast looked instead to restoring and reprofiling a beach to help protect homes and industry from North Sea storm

Agriculture & forestry

The debrief: How a breakfast cereals maker is working to boost biodiversity on farms

Striking a balance between meeting consumer demands and the need to protect nature has historically been difficult to achieve, but one food company and its supplying farmers have found a more mutually beneficial approach

Planning & land use

The debrief: How an infrastructure firm is working to deliver biodiversity net gain

With the Environment Bill making its way through parliament, 2021 looks set to be the year that biodiversity net gain takes a significant step forward in England. But in Scotland, one firm is already working to deliver it

Planning & land use

The debrief: How a farm is helping to offset nitrate pollution in a European protected site

Concerns over nitrate pollution from new housing developments have blocked planning consents for thousands of homes, but the purchase of a farm on the Isle of Wight offers a solution to the problem while creating new habitats

Land, Ecology & Development

The debrief: How a project is helping restore two chalk streams to favourable SSSI status

The poor condition of England’s waterways and the important habitats they provide has been making headlines recently, but a project in Hampshire shows how they can be successfully restored to meet environmental targets

Interviews

Regulation

Interview: OEP chair Dame Glenys Stacey on independence, funding and enforcement

Interview: OEP chair Dame Glenys Stacey on independence, funding and enforcement

Dame Glenys Stacey has big ambitions for her crucial role as head of the watchdog set up to hold the government to its environmental commitments after Brexit. But what approach will she take to enforcement, and will she be given the independence and funding she needs to succeed?

Chemicals

Interview: Dark Waters hero Robert Bilott on the poisoning of a nation and his 20-year battle with a chemicals giant

Interview: Dark Waters hero Robert Bilott on the poisoning of a nation and his 20-year battle with a chemicals giant

US attorney Robert Bilott has worked for two decades to get justice for those harmed by ‘forever chemical’ PFOA, with his efforts leading to multi-million dollar legal payouts, a Hollywood movie and the shocking revelation that every American has the substance in their blood. But the battle is far from over, and now it’s global

Interview: What Jolyon Maugham QC thinks about taking on polluters and holding the government to account

Interview: What Jolyon Maugham QC thinks about taking on polluters and holding the government to account

‘Rich remoaner lawyer’ Jolyon Maugham QC, founder of the Good Law Project and bête noire to the government, talks to ENDS about using litigation to influence politics, suing water firms for sewage pollution and being savaged on Twitter

Campaigning

Interview: Extinction Rebellion's Gail Bradbrook on growing criticism, eco-fascism and net zero by 2025

Interview: Extinction Rebellion's Gail Bradbrook on growing criticism, eco-fascism and net zero by 2025

Two years on from Extinction Rebellion’s formation, there are rumours of splits, rival factions and, as public goodwill wanes, signs the government could classify XR as an organised crime group. With XR seemingly at a crossroads, Gail Bradbrook, the group’s co-founder, talks to ENDS about where it goes next

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