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  • by Trevor Loveday

Reservoir safety review calls for greater powers for regulator

A review of reservoir safety has recommended additional regulatory powers and urged the government to consider a greater part for water companies in funding the costs of regulation.

The review by Professor David Balmforth offers 22 recommendations covering owners roles and responsibilities, engineering skill resources, the responsibilities, duties and powers of the Environment Agency and government legislation. They include a greater role for the Environment Agency in ensuring reservoir owners and operators deliver public safety. And they propose adoption “the rail and nuclear industry operating models, where owners and operators contribute to the costs of regulation.”

Balmforth said: “While I have found many examples of good practice, there are, nevertheless, a number of areas where improvements should be made. It is now up to the government to decide the best way to take forward these recommendations.”

Floods minister, Rebecca Pow, said: “some of the ideas and recommendations can, and indeed must, be taken forward by the industry itself as good practice now – others will likely require legislative changes.” She added: “Defra will take forward detailed work, including with the industry, to explore these recommendations further. This will ensure we have a reservoir safety regime that is fit for the future, without disproportionate burden on those responsible.”


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