Tag Archives: Feargal Sharkey

Bad week for Environment Agency as ‘chicken poo’ failure claim lands it in court

Wake up call: these demonstrators against chicken farm pollution, including Feargal Sharkey, made their point outside the hearing at Cardiff Crown Court.

Yes, this is another ‘rivers of shit’ story.

But it isn’t about privatised water companies, for a change.

Instead, it’s about the Environment Agency failing to do its job and regulate the amount of – literally – crap going into our rivers.

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This is the second blow for the Agency this week, after it was found to have been colluding with the Tory government on ways of hiding whether UK bathing spots were unsafe for swimmers.

Now we learn that representatives of the EA have been taken to court in Cardiff over their failure to stop the River Wye being polluted with unacceptable amounts of chicken excrement from farms along its length.

Here’s a Sky News report on it:

The BBC reported,

The charity River Action, who brought the case, says laws to keep waterways healthy have not been enforced.

The Wye last year had its status downgraded to “unfavourable”, and the rapid expansion of chicken farming in the catchment area was partly blamed.

The Environment Agency said anyone breaking the law could be prosecuted.

The Wye flows along the English-Welsh border and is home to otters, kingfishers and the endangered Atlantic salmon.

“We believe that the government and the Environment Agency have acted unlawfully by deliberately not enforcing the critical regulation that, had it been in force, would have prevented the contamination of the Wye catchment area,” Charles Watson, the chairman of River Action, told the BBC.

And here’s Feargal Sharkey:

This Writer has something of an interest in this issue as I live near the Wye. The case is ongoing, and I look forward to the result.


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Is Environment Agency colluding with government to lie about bathing water quality?

The Environment Agency has been telling the government how to lie about the quality of bathing water, investigations have revealed.

Here’s Channel 4 News to explain:

According to Channel 4 News,

We’ve seen documents which show that almost twice as many English bathing waters would fail pollution tests – if the regulator [the Environment Agency] wasn’t legally allowed to disregard some of the worst results.

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Papers and emails show Government officials were also worried about negative press and wanted pollution incidents to be “better presented”. But the Environment Agency warned some options they gave could look like ‘greenwashing’.

The Government and the agency insist it’s perfectly above board and follows scientific best practice, but campaigners want the system to change, insisting public safety should come first.

Former musician, now clean water campaigner Feargal Sharkey has obtained a copy of the Environment Agency’s advice to the government, explaining how to – basically – lie to us about the amount of pollution in our waters:

In the TV report, an interviewee suggests that protection of the environment should be what the Environment Agency does, and not “spinning for the government”.

This Writer would certainly agree.

But it’s just another example of the corruption sweeping the UK.

It seems clear that the Environment Agency is not fit for purpose; when an organisation that is supposed to penalise water companies that break pollution rules is instead providing advice on how to hide such breaches, it does not deserve to continue.


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Sewage-dumping water company pays dividend bigger than its profits. What?

Clean water: but in United Utilities’ catchment area, the money seems to be as dirty as Lake Windermere.

This should be self-explanatory.

But does the payout make any sense to anybody at all?

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