Scrapping Housebuilder Pollution Rules Is A Regression: UK Watchdog

"Office for Environmental Protection chair tells ministers plan will degrade England’s rivers and demands that they explain it to MPs".

"Plans to rip up pollution rules for housebuilders are a “regression” that will degrade England’s rivers, the government’s environment watchdog has said.

An amendment tabled by the government to the levelling up bill orders local authorities to ignore nutrient pollution from new developments in ecologically sensitive areas in England, including the Norfolk Broads and the Lake District. These nutrients, when untreated, cause algal blooms that choke the life from rivers.

Under the current system, which is derived from EU law, developers are not allowed to add more pollution to already-polluted protected areas, unless they buy “credits” that are used to improve nearby wetlands.

In a letter to the secretaries of state Thérèse Coffey and Michael Gove, the chair of the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP), Dame Glenys Stacey, said their proposed amendment, which they claim will unlock 100,000 new homes, would degrade the environment."

Helena Horton reports for the Guardian August 30, 2023.

Source: Guardian, 08/31/2023