According to new government plans, cash raised by the water treatment companies will be pumped back into the environment instead of funding ministers.
According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the funds will be earmarked to reinvest in water quality improvement initiatives.
According to Defra, this could include creating wetlands, replanting river banks and reconnecting meanders to main rivers.
Currently, funds from fines are returned to the Treasury.
Public outrage at the amount of raw or partially treated sewage being pumped into Britain’s rivers and coastal waters has grown in recent months.
Water companies have been criticized for not investing money back into the UK’s aging water infrastructure, leading to mounting pressure on ministers to intervene.
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The government came under fire in October after Environment Secretary Therese Coffey admitted it would miss the deadline to publish landmark legally binding targets to clean up Britain’s waters.
Ms Coffey said she was “disappointed” at the delay in drawing up the targets – which are obligations under environmental law after Brexit – but was “working at pace to build on the work of my predecessors”.
Defra said more details on his plans to redistribute money from fines imposed on water companies would follow next year.
Water Secretary Rebecca Pow said: “Fines from water companies hit record levels last year and implementation of these plans will significantly increase funds used to restore, protect and enhance our natural environment.”
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “These fines hold rule-breaking companies to account and represent record investments in our waterways.
“It adds to our call for water companies to invest in the natural environment – raising the largest investment ever in environmental infrastructure of £56 billion over 25 years.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/11/30/ministers-to-use-water-company-fines-on-environment-changes-and-not-fund-treasury-17849431/ Ministers to use water company fines for environmental change and not fund the Treasury