Although there has been some debate as to the severity of the water pollution in England, perhaps you should think twice before taking a dip in your local river.
At least 40% of England’s rivers have been heavily polluted with sewage in recent years, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). It should come as no surprise then, that the number of rivers in England granted a ‘good’ ecological status has decreased from 27% in 2010 to just 14%. This is a reflection of not just water levels but the amount of sewage and farm pollution present in a river.
Increasing levels of pollution can cause algal blooms which will lower the oxygen concentrations in rivers, killing all the fish. This also affects dependant species such as kingfishers and otters that feed upon those fish. The negative impacts of river pollution are not limited to animals, they can affect humans too. The greater presence of pathogens in the water can cause illness and diseases such as septicaemia and hepatitis A.
Check out this article in the Guardian that caught our eye last winter
Natural England has now completed its consultation review of proposals to begin charging for species licenses. The key issue for developers is the cost for Mitigation licenses. 449 responses were received by the Agency, with support for charging if this brought an improved delivery of service. There will be license charge exemptions in certain cases, e.g. household development, health and safety issues, but in general, commercial development will be subject to the charges set out below.
The Agency intends the government to put a Statutory Instrument to Parliament for approval in the autumn of 2018, with charges to begin in 2019. The highest license charge cost is £690 with a possible additional charge of £183 for an EPSML (see 8 below).
A. Mitigation licences to allow development or operational delivery to proceed where protected species are present
(Non-complex mitigation licences are those requiring 5 hours or fewer to assess the conservation status implications for the species concerned.)
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