DEFRA says goodbye to Zac Goldsmith who has lost his seat in Richmond Park DEFRA says goodbye to Zac Goldsmith who has lost his seat in Richmond Park

10 key things that happened this week

10 of the biggest stories from the past week: Villiers holds seat, Goldsmith gone following big win for Conservatives; Water Framework Directive found to be both 'fit for purpose' and ‘not fit for purpose’; NGO finds Conservatives by far the worst on environment.

1 Villiers holds seat, Goldsmith gone following big win for Conservatives

Environment minister Zac Goldsmith has lost his west London seat to Liberal Democrat following the best general election performance by the Conservative Party since the 1980s. 

It is better news for the other members of the DEFRA ministerial team, who have all been returned to House of Commons including Environment secretary Theresa Villiers who held on to her Chipping Barnet seat. MORE

2 Water Framework Directive found to be 'fit for purpose'

The EU Water Framework Directive is “broadly fit for purpose”, the European Commission announced this week after concluding a two-year review, paving the way for tougher action on enforcement. However, a policy briefing produced by an EU-funded research project has claimed that the EU Water Framework Directive and other legislation was ‘not fit for purpose’ and needed to be amended to account for threat posed by the cocktail effect of different chemical pollutants. MORE

3 ‘Actively damaging policies’: Conservatives by far the worst on environment, finds NGO

The Labour Party has come out on top of an assessment of manifesto pledges to respond to the ecological and climate crisis, with the Conservatives bringing up the rear, according to research by Friends of the Earth. MORE

4 Housing development next to historic hazardous landfill recommended for approval

Plans for the construction of 180 new homes next to a historic toxic landfill site have been recommended for approval by planning officers this week. Thousands of tonnes of toxic materials are estimated to have been dumped in the tip for more than two decades. MORE

5 Nature regulator under scrutiny over gyrfalcon ‘wild hack’ licence

A licence to ‘wild hack’ 150 of the world’s largest falcon species has drawn the attention of Chris Packham’s legal outfit Wild Justice over concerns that the birds could damage the local ecology. MORE

6 Drax to be ‘carbon negative within 10 years’

Drax power station has announced its ambition to become carbon negative by 2030, two months after it received approval for four new gas turbines which some fear risk a carbon budget blowout. MORE

7 ‘Further complications’ for waste sector as Sweden announces tax on imports

The Swedish government has approved plans to introduce a 75Kr (£6) per tonne tax on refuse derived fuel imported from the UK. MORE

8 Thames Water fined £300k after workers swept into sewer

Thames Water has been fined £300,000 after three workers were swept along a sewer when a 150-year-old cast iron gate collapsed. MORE

9 New heavy metals extraction process could reduce costs by 60%

Researchers in the US claim to have found a far cheaper method to remove toxic heavy metals from the byproducts of wastewater treatment, potentially reducing the processing costs by more than 60%. MORE

10 Road link unlocking 8,000-homes to deliver net gain

Plans approved for a 2.5-kilometre link road to help deliver 8,000 homes in Wiltshire will deliver a biodiversity net gain, including for protected species such as the dormouse, according to the local authority in charge of the scheme. MORE

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