Serious pollution incidents up 60% as EA performance falters

The Environment Agency (EA) is on track to meet its flood protection goals but is failing to meet its targets to curb serious pollution incidents and waste crime, according to official figures.

The EA’s latest quarterly scorecard, published yesterday, shows that category one pollution incidents - the most serious and damaging - have increased by 60% compared with the first three quarters of the previous year, from 137 incidents in 2017/18 to 219 incidents by the end of the third quarter of 2018/19. 

Similarly, category 2 incidents increased from 1,178 to 1,273 over the same period, with the agency noting that the final numbers for the most recent quarter are likely to be higher, due to time lags in reporting. The agency has flagged its progress as red on its traffic light system.

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