Guilty! Angling Trust welcomes record fine for polluters Southern Water.

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Today (9th July 2021) His Honour Mr Justice Johnson handed down a £90m fine to Southern Water, after the company admitted to 6,971 illegal spills from 17 sites in Hampshire, Kent and West Sussex between 2010 and 2015. Southern Water had tried to claim these events were due to negligence on their part, but the Judge dismissed this, saying the offences had been “committed deliberately” with the full knowledge of the Southern Water board at the time. He went on to say, “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,”.

Stuart Singleton-White, Head of Campaigns at the Angling Trust, said, “£90m sound a lot, but when you look at the deliberate acts of this company, and its determination to put its own profits and dividend above the interests of the environment, it could and should have been a lot higher. Over the period in question, Southern Water poured between 16bn and 21bn litres of raw sewage into some of our most precious and delicate environments. Will this fine make the mend their ways? I’m not convinced. Too often, it is too easy for water companies to still be able to pour raw sewage into our rivers and coastal waters. The biggest crime of all, is they can often do so perfectly legally.”

This court case showed that Southern Water had history of criminal activity. In his ruling the judge describe Southern Water as “previous and persistent pollution of the environment”. It had 168 previous offences and cautions; all ignored. Southern Water had simply not altered its behaviour, with Justice Johnson commenting, “There is no evidence the company took any notice of the penalties imposed or the remarks of the courts. Its offending simply continued,”.

This ruling is not only an indictment of the criminal behaviour of Southern Water; it also represents a total failure of the system of monitoring an enforcement.

Singleton-White went on to say, “While it is good the Environment Agency brought this prosecution, it begs the question of why Southern Water were able to get away with it for so long? Not only is this further evidence of the impacts of the cuts in funding to the EA’s ability to properly monitor and take action against polluters, it also shows just how broken the monitoring system is. The over reliance on water companies to self-monitor and self-report has been shown to be open to abuse. It needs to stop. We need a regulator capable and willing to regulate.”

The Angling Trust and Fish Legal have been calling for a major reform of the monitoring regime for some time, most recently in the evidence we gave to the Environmental Audit Committee’s ongoing inquiry into water quality. Through Anglers Against Pollution, we have been calling for action, for more funding, and for change in the way the Environment Agency operate.

Anglers can support our work through this campaign and by joining the Angling Trust.

The post Guilty! Angling Trust welcomes record fine for polluters Southern Water. appeared first on Angling Trust.

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squimp

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It is outrageous that Southern Water happily paid the fines for years in a deliberate policy to save them investing in new infrastructure - with no regard for the(ir) desecration of the environment.
 

squimp

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Someone needs a prison sentence. They knew what they were doing. No doubt they will pass this 90 million quid bill onto their customers. It’s a disgrace in this day and age.
And pay huge dividends to their shareholders.

Major public utilities should never have been privatised in the first place.
 

Yosemite Sam

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As Mick says, someone needs to do a bit of bird. It won’t take them long to claw back 90mil from customers putting a £1 on every water bill.
 

Total

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Sack the present board, fine all the present and past managers/directors during this time time and confiscate all their assets, property, money, houses etc and jail those who are still alive during this debacle....

Stop sodding about with fines and putting up with excuses such as "Sorry....lessons will be learned etc etc).....Next case.....
 

tipitinmick

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Sack the present board, fine all the present and past managers/directors during this time time and confiscate all their assets, property, money, houses etc and jail those who are still alive during this debacle....

Stop sodding about with fines and putting up with excuses such as "Sorry....lessons will be learned etc etc).....Next case.....
Sod all that. We should just send you round 🤣🤣🤣
 

Dave

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The problem is its cheaper to pay the fines than spend on improving the infrastructure.

£90million fines vs say £1billion improving and update the infrastructure - it's the difference between getting paid a dividend or not
 

BBear

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The establishment will ensure that no one at Southern Water face criminal charges, unless they can find some underling to take the blame.

Around 10 years ago I was an expert witness in a case which the EA had bought against four directors of a small local golf club. I was acting for the golf club who had had a new oil tank installed and the oil pipe had leaked below ground allegedly polluting a water course which in turn fed into a reservoir. The water company’s automatic testing equipment had picked up the pollution.

The directors were unpaid volunteers and apart from placing the order with the contractor’s (who were a bone-Fide national company) had no specialist knowledge or involvement in the job. However the EA smelled blood and the directors were facing possible prison and were crapping themselves.

Anyway the case against them fell apart on the first day - the water company disclosed that their testing equipment had been faulty and even though the pipe had leaked, the necessary level of pollution couldn’t be proved. Unbelievably the EA had been aware of this for some time but still proceeded without disclosing this.

the point of me telling you this is that the EA are quite happy to use their full powers against the little guy but when big business, or water companies themselves are deliberate pollutors it’s a different storey.

I don’t trust them.
 

Total

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Oh yeah. Forgot all your ‘ virtual ‘ coaching lessons. How is Des Shipp doing anyway ? Is he coming on Mark ? 🤣👍
I've booked our Des with you for a bomb setup prevention program.... :LOL: ......He asked about a sweeping up course at the same time with you, I couldn't possibly comment!:oops:;):D
 

Total

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The establishment will ensure that no one at Southern Water face criminal charges, unless they can find some underling to take the blame.

Around 10 years ago I was an expert witness in a case which the EA had bought against four directors of a small local golf club. I was acting for the golf club who had had a new oil tank installed and the oil pipe had leaked below ground allegedly polluting a water course which in turn fed into a reservoir. The water company’s automatic testing equipment had picked up the pollution.

The directors were unpaid volunteers and apart from placing the order with the contractor’s (who were a bone-Fide national company) had no specialist knowledge or involvement in the job. However the EA smelled blood and the directors were facing possible prison and were crapping themselves.

Anyway the case against them fell apart on the first day - the water company disclosed that their testing equipment had been faulty and even though the pipe had leaked, the necessary level of pollution couldn’t be proved. Unbelievably the EA had been aware of this for some time but still proceeded without disclosing this.

the point of me telling you this is that the EA are quite happy to use their full powers against the little guy but when big business, or water companies themselves are deliberate pollutors it’s a different storey.

I don’t trust them.
^^ Then the EA need taking to task, court etc etc.....'Not fit for purpose'.....As well as the offending water companies....Shame on them all....:(
 

tipitinmick

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I've booked our Des with you for a bomb setup prevention program.... :LOL: ......He asked about a sweeping up course at the same time with you, I couldn't possibly comment!:oops:;):D
I’m sooooooooo offended. 🙄🤣🤣
 

Arry

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Suvvern wawtah... SEIF...!!!!
 
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