Environment Agency to officially ignore 'low-impact' pollution

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Fishnut
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Environment Agency to officially ignore 'low-impact' pollution

Post by Fishnut » Tue Jan 11, 2022 1:42 pm

The Big Issue have a story on an apparently leaked memo from the EA saying that they will no longer investigate 'low-impact' pollution events. Apparently they are trying to frame this as a good thing,
The memo suggests the decision will have “benefits” including allowing the agency to dedicate more resources to high-impact pollution incidents as well as “increased consistency of response and service for customers”.
I suppose telling everyone that they won't bother investigating their report of pollution does increase consistency.

They admit that the decision is due to lack of funding,
The EA has admitted that, thanks to under-funding, its capacity for investigating pollution incidents is limited.

Of the 116,000 potential pollution incidents reported to the agency in 2021, only 8,000 were actually attended.

The body’s 2020 report on its own activities warned that “our attendance at incidents is reducing as our funding to deal with them has been reduced. Resources are needed to fund this work because one day one could be catastrophic”.
Though as the article points out it's often impossible to know how severe a pollution event is if you don't take a look.
An EA officer told The Guardian it would be “impossible” to ascertain what level of incident had taken place without visiting it.

This creates the possibility of higher-impact pollution incidents going ignored due to being categorised as category 3 or 4 incidents.
Finally found the Guardian article as The Big Issue didn't link to it.
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Re: Environment Agency to officially ignore 'low-impact' pollution

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Jan 11, 2022 2:32 pm

What a country.
You can shove your climate crisis up your arse!

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Re: Environment Agency to officially ignore 'low-impact' pollution

Post by Gfamily » Tue Jan 11, 2022 2:40 pm

If you see Environmental Regulation primarily a revenue generation mechanism, it makes sense to point your resources at where the return will be worthwhile.

Sorry, that should read
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Re: Environment Agency to officially ignore 'low-impact' pollution

Post by tenchboy » Tue Jan 11, 2022 3:25 pm

If it isn't clean enough to pump out onto Richmond Park (insert local equivalent) then how can it be clean enough to pump out into a river?
Bottom line.

Let's see Jewsons, or any other private company, dump a couple tons of rusty nails and old pallets on the green, "because they haven't got the capacity to store them"; and see how far that excuse gets them.

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Re: Environment Agency to officially ignore 'low-impact' pollution

Post by headshot » Tue Jan 11, 2022 3:35 pm

Bottom line. Fnar.

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Re: Environment Agency to officially ignore 'low-impact' pollution

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Jan 11, 2022 4:31 pm

Letter-writing campaigns are often pointless, but how about we all "Post a Poo" to various government departments until they fund the EA properly?
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Re: Environment Agency to officially ignore 'low-impact' pollution

Post by nekomatic » Tue Jan 11, 2022 4:49 pm

I can see how that could gain some traction, if the ‘poo’ were, say, a card or flyer with a nice big 💩 on it. Nice thinking.

Who’s going to take on the jobbie of organising it?
Dervict stanord

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Re: Environment Agency to officially ignore 'low-impact' pollution

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:34 pm

nekomatic wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 4:49 pm
I can see how that could gain some traction, if the ‘poo’ were, say, a card or flyer with a nice big 💩 on it. Nice thinking.

Who’s going to take on the jobbie of organising it?
Burt Reynolds has got the spirit: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... feel-great
You can shove your climate crisis up your arse!

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Re: Environment Agency to officially ignore 'low-impact' pollution

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:54 am

Depressing if unsurprising reports from EA whistleblowers. Income-generating activities, such as issuing discharge permits, are prioritised, while loss-making activities like enforcing those permits don't happen any more.

Good news for big business, bad news for everyone else.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... ow-whistle
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Re: Environment Agency to officially ignore 'low-impact' pollution

Post by Fishnut » Thu Jan 20, 2022 3:10 pm

I find myself increasingly of the view that the Conservatives know the price of everything and the value of nothing. If you can't put it in a spreadsheet it doesn't count. So, you can charge for licenses therefore they're good, but quantifying the costs of a pollution event? - sure you can calculate how much it costs to clean up but what if you don't bother? Cleaning it up is just a waste as money as far as they're concerned - all cost and no income. Sure a load of fish and other animals die, but who really cares? Oh, some people may get sick but you just tell them not to go in the water while it's polluted. Clean waterways, the habitats and services they provide are valueless to them. It's such a small-minded way to view the world.
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Re: Environment Agency to officially ignore 'low-impact' pollution

Post by tom p » Thu Jan 20, 2022 3:22 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:54 am
Depressing if unsurprising reports from EA whistleblowers. Income-generating activities, such as issuing discharge permits, are prioritised, while loss-making activities like enforcing those permits don't happen any more.

Good news for big business, bad news for everyone else.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... ow-whistle
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Re: Environment Agency to officially ignore 'low-impact' pollution

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:30 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 3:10 pm
I find myself increasingly of the view that the Conservatives know the price of everything and the value of nothing. If you can't put it in a spreadsheet it doesn't count. So, you can charge for licenses therefore they're good, but quantifying the costs of a pollution event? - sure you can calculate how much it costs to clean up but what if you don't bother? Cleaning it up is just a waste as money as far as they're concerned - all cost and no income. Sure a load of fish and other animals die, but who really cares? Oh, some people may get sick but you just tell them not to go in the water while it's polluted. Clean waterways, the habitats and services they provide are valueless to them. It's such a small-minded way to view the world.
I think you're bang on the money there, if you'll forgive the pun.

One of the objections I often see to the payment for ecosystem services/nature-based solutions kind of paradigm is that assigning a cash value to nature could lead to decisions being made where environmental degradation is allowed because it's cheaper.

To which my response is generally that nature already has a cash value assigned, and it's £0.00 - which is why so much environmental degradation is allowed. For as long as so much power is in the hands of price-of-everything-value-of-nothing fetishists we might be better off appealing to the coffers where their hearts should be.
You can shove your climate crisis up your arse!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door.

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Re: Environment Agency to officially ignore 'low-impact' pollution

Post by tom p » Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:39 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:30 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 3:10 pm
I find myself increasingly of the view that the Conservatives know the price of everything and the value of nothing. If you can't put it in a spreadsheet it doesn't count. So, you can charge for licenses therefore they're good, but quantifying the costs of a pollution event? - sure you can calculate how much it costs to clean up but what if you don't bother? Cleaning it up is just a waste as money as far as they're concerned - all cost and no income. Sure a load of fish and other animals die, but who really cares? Oh, some people may get sick but you just tell them not to go in the water while it's polluted. Clean waterways, the habitats and services they provide are valueless to them. It's such a small-minded way to view the world.
I think you're bang on the money there, if you'll forgive the pun.

One of the objections I often see to the payment for ecosystem services/nature-based solutions kind of paradigm is that assigning a cash value to nature could lead to decisions being made where environmental degradation is allowed because it's cheaper.

To which my response is generally that nature already has a cash value assigned, and it's £0.00 - which is why so much environmental degradation is allowed. For as long as so much power is in the hands of price-of-everything-value-of-nothing fetishists we might be better off appealing to the coffers where their hearts should be.
Actual footage from a Tory minister's office, yesterday

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