As part of The Times Clean It Up campaign there are claims that water companies could “escape higher fines” for spilling sewage into rivers and seas.
This is not the case. We have been clear that all options – including the proposals for an upper limit of £250 million set out last year – are still on the table.
The Environment Secretary has been clear that she wants to consult on these proposals, with the ultimate aim of making sure that regulators have the powers they need to tackle the problem.
A Defra group spokesperson said:
We are clear that water companies must be held to account for poor performance. That’s why we are making it easier for regulators to enforce fines and hold them to account. More detail on this will be set out in our consultation in the Spring.
Record fines of more than £102 million were handed out in 2021 following successful prosecutions.
We have also set out further detail on our response to The Times campaign and the significant steps that we’re taking to improve the whole water system.