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France, UK in diplomatic stink over raw sewage dumped in shared waters

French lawmakers in the European Parliament are urging the EU to take action to stop Britain’s dumping of untreated sewage into shared waters – in part because of what they say is the unacceptable lowering of standards environmental since Brexit.

Three leading French lawmakers said in a letter to EU Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius that they are concerned about damage to marine biodiversity and the fish and shellfish industry.

Fisheries commission chairman Pierre Karleskind, commission member Stéphanie Yon-Courtin (also a member of the Normandy regional commission) and former French minister Nathalie Loiseau spoke last week about reports in the media about a massive sewage spill in UK waters.

“We cannot allow the environment, the economic activity of our fishermen and the health of our citizens to be seriously threatened by the UK’s repeated neglect of waste water management,” Yon-Courtin said in a statement. a statement.

They say Britain is no longer bound by EU environmental rules after leaving the bloc and has chosen to lower its water quality standards despite being a signatory to the UN Convention Law of the Sea, which contains provisions for the protection of the environment.

“This is unacceptable,” they wrote. “We call on the committee to use all political and legal means at its disposal to put an end to this situation.”

Water treatment facilities in the UK are temporarily discharging untreated sewage into oceans and rivers after being inundated by heavy rains and facing flooding. Environmentalists say such emissions are becoming more common.

Ofwat, the regulator for England and Wales, and the UK government’s Environment Agency are investigating several water companies for admitting to discharging sewage without a licence.Read the complete article

Pollution warnings have told bathers not to swim in waters near UK beaches during the peak summer season due to untreated sewage discharge, adding to pressure on the UK government to take action against the water companies.

On Friday he outlined a plan to tackle sewage discharges, forcing water companies to do more to treat sewage before it is discharged and invest in improving storm overflows, with fines for those who do not reach the new objectives.

(Reuters)

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