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Case Update

WATCH: Cross-party MPs back our legal challenge to tackle sewage dumping

3rd May 2023

A group of cross-party MPs has backed our legal challenge to force the Government to take tougher and quicker action to tackle the sewage dumping scandal.

Watch below as MPs – Caroline Lucas, Dawn Butler, Richard Foord and Lloyd Russell-Moyle – and Parliamentary candidate Josh Babarinde slam the water companies responsible for the deluge of sewage polluting their local rivers and shores and the lack of urgency from Ministers.

This is one of the biggest environmental scandals of our times. Last year alone, water companies in England discharged untreated sewage through storm overflows over 300,000 times for a total of 1.7 million hours. 

But the Government’s Storm Overflows Discharges Reduction Plan gives water companies up until 2050 to improve their storm overflows and to put a stop to industrial-scale sewage dumping.

The current plan also fails to include a significant number of coastal waters, failing to cover around 600 storm overflows – meaning sewage could continue to be poured into our waters even beyond 2050. 

We believe that allowing this form of environmental vandalism to continue for decades to come is not only unconscionable but also unlawful. 

That is why we are bringing a legal challenge with co-claimants – the Marine Conservation Society, Richard Haward’s Oysters and surfer and activist, Hugo Tagholm – to compel the Government to rewrite its Storm Overflows Discharges Reduction Plan and make it fit for purpose. 

We have a High Court hearing date of 4-6 July, where we will push the Government to impose much tougher and tighter targets to make water companies clean up their act.

It is great to have such strong support from the politicians featured in our video. But as we play our part to try and protect our rivers and coastal waters for generations to come, we also need your help.

If you are able to make a donation to our case, you can do so here.


This article is part of our Clean Waters case

A deluge of untreated sewage is being discharged by water companies into our rivers and along our coastlines. But the Government is failing to face up to the scale of the problem. This is why we have launched legal action alongside Marine Conservation Society, Richard Haward’s Oysters and surfer and activist, Hugo Tagholm, to demand action.

See more about this case