Monday, November 29, 2021

UK water company fined £90m for deliberately polluting sea

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Southern Water receives record-breaking fine for pumping billions of litres of untreated effluent into the sea off north Kent and Hampshire.

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A British water company has been given a record-breaking fine for deliberately and knowingly dumping billions of litres of untreated sewerage into protected waters off the north Kent and Hampshire coasts.

Southern Water was sentenced by Mr Justice Jeremy Johnson for discharging between 16bn and 21bn litres of effluent into some of the most protected and delicate environments in the country.

“These offences show a shocking and wholesale disregard for the environment, for precious and delicate ecosystems and coastlines, for human health, and for fisheries and other legitimate businesses that operate in the coastal waters,” said the judge.

He said the company had a history of criminal behaviour for its “previous and persistent pollution of the environment”.

The company has 168 previous offences and cautions, but the judge said “there is no evidence the company took any notice of the penalties imposed or the remarks of the court. Its offending simply continued”.

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