Peters & Peters

Criminal fine for pollution by water company

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Key facts:

In February 2024, the EA prosecuted Southern Water for breaching the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016. Southern Water had pleaded guilty to causing environmental harm, after raw sewage escaped into a stream near Southampton for what the company admitted could have been up to 20 hours, as a direct result of negligence in how its pumping station was managed. This caused the death of nearly 2,000 fish.

Sitting at West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court, the company was sentenced to a £300,000 fine and ordered to pay the EA’s costs of £18,764 and a victim surcharge of £181.

This follows on from record fines paid by Southern Water in 2021, where it was sentenced to pay £90million in fines for widespread polution after to pleady guilty to 51 offences.

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