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  • by Karma Loveday

Green groups call for outcomes-based approach to nutrient pollution in Levelling Up Bill

Environmental coalition Wildlife and Countryside Link (WCL) is supporting an amendment to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill which would free water companies up to deliver nutrient pollution reductions through nature-based solutions.

In a briefing for the Lords Committee stage of the Bill, WCL said it strongly supported Amendment 390 tabled by Baroness Willis of Summertown, Baroness Parminter and Baroness Jones of Whitchurch, which is likely to be discussed in committee on either Wednesday 8 March or Monday 13 March. The amendment would enable water companies to meet new nutrient pollution standards set out in the Bill through nature-based solutions deployed across a whole catchment, rather than just through on-site works.

The coalition explained the existing Clause 153, which puts a duty on water companies to upgrade sewage disposal works to meet new nutrient pollution standards in polluted freshwater habitats, specifies that upgrades should only take place at sewage disposal works. “This site-specific approach, focussed on wastewater treatment only, closes down an environmentally effective alternative – restoring habitats across the entire catchment of a freshwater habitat.”

WCL said trials had proven catchment and nature-based solutions “can be just as effective at reducing nutrient pollution as on-site sewage disposal work upgrades, whilst delivering greater environmental benefits [biodiversity, carbon, public access etc[ at a lower overall cost”.

The briefing pointed out there is widespread support for the amendment beyond eNGOs, including from Water UK and CIWEM.


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