I suppose telling everyone that they won't bother investigating their report of pollution does increase consistency.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”.
They admit that the decision is due to lack of funding,
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.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”.
Finally found the Guardian article as The Big Issue didn't link to it.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.