Local people are angry about the odour from the Southall Waterside development. Photograph: Gareth Simkins Local people are angry about the odour from the Southall Waterside development. Photograph: Gareth Simkins

10 key things that happened this week

10 of the biggest stories from the past week: Smelly remediation project set for legal challenge, Victims of UK's largest modern slavery ring forced to work at recycling sites, Climate change to trigger UK invasive ‘sleeper species’ into action...

Smelly remediation project set for legal challenge

People living near west London’s vast Southall Waterside contaminated land remediation project are preparing a court challenge against developer Berkeley Group. Over the past two years, they have complained of a tarry odour in the air. MORE

Victims of UK's largest modern slavery ring forced to work at recycling sites

Eight members of a Polish human trafficking ring with links to recycling sites in the West Midlands have been handed jail sentences totalling 55 years, in what has been described as the UK’s largest modern slavery conviction. MORE

Climate change to trigger UK invasive ‘sleeper species’ into action

Harmless non-native species currently present in the UK could become a threat as temperatures rise as a result of climate change, a group of MPs has been warned. MORE

Natural England falls short of targets as staff satisfaction drops

Natural England failed to hit key performance goals on district licensing, coastal path creation and blanket bog restoration in 2018/19, with staff satisfaction declining in the face of a requirement to deliver significant in-year savings, according to its latest annual report. MORE

Cuadrilla faces enforcement action for monitoring breach

Fracking firm Cuadrilla failed to abide by requirements to monitor a range of substances in groundwater, then failed to admit the breach, according to Environment Agency records. MORE

‘Dad’s Army and ramshackle’: UK unprepared for 2 degree temperature rise, say advisers

The UK should be gearing up for a 4°C rise in average temperatures but is not prepared even for a 2°C increase, according to the government’s independent climate change advisers. MORE

‘Unacceptable’: EA blasts environmental performance of England’s water companies

England’s water companies urgently need to “clean up their act” if they are to meet government targets on water pollution by 2020, the Environment Agency has warned. MORE

Coffey urges waste firms to be flexible with local authority contracts

Waste minister Thérèse Coffey has said that DEFRA will “take a dim view” of businesses preventing councils from altering contracts to make allowances for the government’s Resources & Waste Strategy. MORE

Thames Water to pay £700,000 for pollution offences

Serious failures at a Thames Water sewage treatment works, which caused a major fish kill and threatened another utility’s drinking water supplies, have been punished with a hefty fine. MORE

High Court rejects Ox-Cam expressway habitats legal challenge

A legal challenge over the lack of appropriate assessment for a proposed Oxford to Cambridge motorway has been quashed in the courts because no decision over the final route had been made at the time, the judge said. MORE

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