To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the (a) quality, (b) accuracy and (c) timeliness of the data the Environment Agency receives from Southern Water on statutory pollution notifications in (a) Langstone Harbour and (b) other areas for which that Southern Water is responsible; and if he will make a statement.
19 July 2021
The Environment Agency (EA) requires Southern Water Services Limited to report all pollution incidents caused by any of their assets in a timely and accurate manner, whether or not the asset benefits from an Environmental Permit.
Incidents are assessed for their potential impact on the environment. The EA reviews the circumstances and any evidence available for incidents that have the potential to cause significant impact. The EA will assess compliance with any statutory or non-statutory reporting requirements on an individual basis. Where the quality of Southern Water’s initial report is insufficient for an accurate assessment of environmental impact to be made, it will liaise with the company to obtain full details. Breaches of Environmental Permit conditions relating to reporting of incidents are dealt with in accordance with the EA’s Enforcement and Sanction Policy.
The EA records and tracks data pertaining to these incidents, including the timeliness of reporting, which forms the basis of regular performance meetings with the company. Data is also published annually in the Environmental Performance Assessment of water companies.