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HomeWorldFrench complaint to the EU regarding the United Kingdom's trash discharges.

French complaint to the EU regarding the United Kingdom’s trash discharges.

Three European parliamentarians assert that by allowing raw sewage to be thrown in the English Channel and the North Sea, the United Kingdom endangers the health and marine life of the French coast.

After severe rainfall forced sewage overflow to be redirected into rivers and the sea, nearly 50 beaches in England and Wales have been issued pollution warnings.

The French MEPs accuse the United Kingdom of disregarding its environmental obligations and putting marine life and fisheries at risk.

British water firms have stated that they are investing in the problem’s resolution.

In a letter requesting legal or political action from the European Commission, the MEPs asserted that, since leaving the European Union, the United Kingdom had abandoned its environmental obligations.

French complaint to the eu regarding the united kingdom's trash discharges.
French complaint to the eu regarding the united kingdom's trash discharges.

A representative for the British government stated that the accusation was “just not accurate.”

MEPs maintained that despite no longer being bound by EU laws, the United Kingdom remained a signatory to relevant United Nations conventions on protecting shared waterways.

The three MEPs are all members of the pro-EU En Marche party of French President Emmanuel Macron. Pierre Karleskind is the chairman of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee.

He said that the UK could not be permitted to disregard Brexit-related commitments and endanger 20 years of European progress on water quality standards.

The MEPs warn that the sewage breaches pose an immediate threat to the French coast’s bathing waters and could also impact marine biodiversity, fishing, and shellfish farming.

“The English Channel and the North Sea are not dumping grounds,” said Stéphanie Yon-Courtin, a Normandy member who serves on the fisheries committee of the European Union parliament.

French complaint to the eu regarding the united kingdom's trash discharges.

The majority of the United Kingdom has a combined sewage system, which transports wastewater from toilets to sewage treatment plants through the same pipes as rainwater.

The system is meant to occasionally overflow and discharge untreated sewage into rivers and the ocean to minimize flooding of homes and public places during heavy rains.

Recent hot weather has heightened the risk of flooding because the parched earth cannot absorb water rapidly.

Water UK, which represents the UK water sector, stated that water companies “believe there is an urgent need” for action and will invest more than £3 billion between 2020 and 2025 to reduce overflows as part of a larger national environmental program.

A spokeswoman for the United Kingdom’s Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs stated that it was false that the country did not have water quality targets. “The Environment Act has made our water quality rules much more stringent than they were when we were a member of the EU, including targets to combat nutrient pollution and new authorities to combat dangerous compounds in our waters.”

“We have also mandated that water providers minimize the frequency and amount of discharges from storm overflows and that they install new monitoring to report any sewage discharges in their region in real-time.”

However, the Liberal Democrats have accused water corporations of failing to monitor sewage effectively, claiming that many monitoring equipments have either not been built or do not function.

According to a Defra spokeswoman, the government will shortly unveil the largest-ever strategy to decrease sewage overflow during storms.


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