NRA misses discharge control deadline by a mile

The National Rivers Authority (NRA) is set to fall way short of a Government deadline set six years ago for bringing under full legal control thousands of sewage and industrial discharges operating under "deemed" consents. As many as half of these have yet to be processed 18 years after Parliament passed legislation in the expectation that it would result in a comprehensive clean-up of Britain's coasts and estuaries.

The deemed consents were introduced as a transitional measure in 1986, when regulations finally brought into force Part II of the Control of Pollution Act 1974. They allowed long-established discharges to tidal waters which had escaped control under successive items of post-war water legislation to continue at existing levels without any additional controls. In time, the deemed consents were to have been replaced by full consents, incorporatin

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