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https://deframedia.blog.gov.uk/2024/05/15/inaccurate-coverage-of-environment-agency-investigation-at-lake-windermere/

Inaccurate coverage of Environment Agency investigation at Lake Windermere

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Environment Agency, water

Environment Agency officer in a high-vis jacket.

There has been inaccurate coverage on the BBC this morning regarding the Environment Agency’s involvement in a pollution incident at Bowness-on-Windermere earlier this year.

The coverage alleges the Environment Agency failed to properly inspect the incident before closing the investigation. This is simply not true, and we have informed the BBC of this. A thorough investigation into the incident by the regulator remains ongoing since the incident, which involves examining further evidence from United Utilities.

If it is determined that a permit breach has taken place, the Environment Agency will take the appropriate enforcement action up to and including a criminal prosecution.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said:

The pollution incident at Bowness was reported to us by United Utilities as the result of a major systems communication failure in the area which affected pumps at Glebe Road Pumping Station, which transfer sewage to the wastewater treatment works. Our officer attended the scene to confirm with UU that the discharge had ceased and to carry out water sampling in areas affected.

We are undertaking a thorough investigation into the incident which involves examining further evidence from United Utilities. If we determine a permit breach has taken place, we will not hesitate to take enforcement action. If any water company is found to be in breach of an environmental permit, the Environment Agency will take the appropriate enforcement action up to and including a criminal prosecution.

We are absolutely committed to improving the water quality in Lake Windermere. That is why we are working closely with the local community and a range of partners to reduce pollution from all sources, as well as reviewing wastewater treatment works permits within the Windermere catchment.

The Environment Agency also leads the Love Windermere partnership. This will develop an evidence based, long-term plan that encompasses short and medium-term objectives, seeking outcomes that address water quality improvements whilst balancing the needs of the community and economy

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