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Lords amendment to the Environment Bill has been rejected

The government has rejected the Lords amendment to the Environment Bill which included a legal duty on water companies to reduce sewage discharge from storm overflows into our rivers.

Water Quality On Derwent Panty

Water quality on River Derwent.

British Canoeing has been working with the #EndSewagePollutionCoalition campaigning for the amendments to bring an end to raw sewage being discharged into England’s inland and coastal waters.

During the commons debate on the Bill, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP asked Rebecca Pow MP and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs "When will all English rivers be sewage free?"

No end date was given by the Minister.

Chantelle Grundy, Access and Environment Officer at British Canoeing, said:

"This is a very disappointing outcome, at a time when we have all benefitted from being in nature during the pandemic. Our rivers are in crisis, they are being used as open sewers and every single one is failing to meet chemical standards. 

"I would like to thank all of those paddlers who contacted their MP to highlight this issue and demand change. We will continue to press water companies to clean up their act and protect the health of paddlers and the places we love to paddle."

The government has made some really important changes to the Environment Bill which we welcome, BUT they have failed to stop water companies discharging raw sewage. This is putting the health of our paddling community at risk. The Government's 25 Year Environment Plan to improve the environment recognises ‘Our natural environment is our most precious inheritance’ and goes on to outline the plans’ goals which ‘are simple: cleaner air and water’. 

Find out how your MP voted here:

Clear Access, Clear Waters continues to lobby for clean waters, free from untreated sewage pollution for all to enjoy. Find out more here.