Finding ways to tackle the diffuse pollution from agricultural runoff that causes ecological damage to waterways and their biodiversity will be a key focus for the newly constituted Office for Environmental Protection, its chair has said.
The Environment Bill has passed into law after more than two years. Following a public outcry over the omission of a new duty on wastewater companies to “take all reasonable steps” to eliminate sewage discharges from storm overflows, the bill included an amendment requiring that they achieve a “progressive reduction” in the adverse impacts of sewage discharges on the environment and public health.
The chief executive of the Environment Agency defended the benefits that reform could bring to environmental regulation post-Brexit and said COP26 was already focusing minds in government to address the climate emergency.
The environment secretary of state appeared before the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) select committee as part of its pre-legislative scrutiny into the bill to set up the new agency which will take over the enforcement of EU environmental regulations post-Brexit.