Water Companies: Licences

Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Excerpts
Monday 24th April 2023

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Benyon Portrait Lord Benyon (Con)
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It is not just up to the company; it is up to the regulators, Ofwat and the Environment Agency. We are currently considering this, and there is a proposal to lift the cap on fines from the Environment Agency to an unlimited level. This is part of a concerted effort to tackle a serious problem.

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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My Lords, it is the turn of the Conservative Benches.

Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Portrait Baroness McIntosh of Pickering (Con)
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My Lords, I welcome the Government’s commitment to implement Schedule 3 to the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, but will my noble friend exercise a degree of urgency? Wales has already implemented this, making SUDS and sustainable drains mandatory in all new builds. That one measure alone will prevent sewage spilling over antiquated pipes and leading to river and sea pollution.

Lord Benyon Portrait Lord Benyon (Con)
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My noble friend is absolutely right: this was a key recommendation of the Pitt review following the floods in 2007. The Government are implementing it. It is complicated, because it is about who owns and has responsibility for the maintenance of the SUDS. My noble friend is right that this will have an impact on the amount of unwanted effluent that flows from developments into watercourses and aquifers, and it is being implemented—we are taking it forward urgently.