Serious pollution incidents across England down 18%

The Environment Agency has stopped an average of more than two illegal waste sites every day in the last year

Big Zero Report 2022

Serious pollution incidents across England fell by 18% in 2017, compared to the year before.

That’s according to a new report published by the Environment Agency, which shows the total figure dropped to 419 – 68 of these took place on farms, 65 at waste management facilities and 52 were caused by water companies.

Other parts of the economy, such as the transport, public, services and domestic sector made up the bulk of other incidents.

The organisation has revealed it stopped 812 illegal waste sites in the year, an average of more than two illegal sites every day, helping to reduce the number of persistently badly managed sites to 144, down 18%.

It also shows since 2000, companies regulated by the Environment Agency have reduced nitrogen oxides by 71%, sulfur oxides by 93% and levels of particulate matter by 51%.

However, the number of serious pollution incidents from the agriculture, waste and water sectors was still equivalent to more than one a week.

The Environment Agency said: “A strong economy and an environment in which people and wildlife thrive are vital for our future. The right regulation can deliver both.

“We all need to up our game now. To meet the challenging new goals in the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and Industrial and Clean Growth Strategies, we need to work even more effectively with businesses to improve, not just sustain, their environmental performance; and to enhance, not just protect, the environment around us.”

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