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Complaints mount over UK dumping sewage into Channel

Google Oneindia News

London, Aug 26: The European Commission on Thursday said it was reviewing complaints it received from lawmakers that the UK had alleged poured sewage into bodies of water it shares with the EU.

"The English Channel and the North Sea are not dumping grounds,'' said Stephanie Yon-Courtin, a member of the European Parliament's fishing committee and a local councilor in Normandy.

Complaints mount over UK dumping sewage into Channel

"We can't tolerate that the environment, the economic activity of our fishers and the health of our citizens is put into grave danger by repeated negligence of the United Kingdom in the management of its sewage water,'' she said.

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Heavy rainfall after weeks of dry weather overwhelmed parts of Britain's sewage system last week, causing untreated wastewater to be discharged into rivers and seas. The problem is a long-running issue in the UK, where regulators are investigating possible permit violations by six major water companies.

MEPs accuse UK of breaking Brexit treaty

Until the last few days, this had mainly been a problem in Britain, where people were warned to stay away from dozens of beaches last week amid concerns about public health and the damage to wildlife.

Yon-Courtin and her colleague Nathalie Loiseau have penned a letter demanding that the European Commission "use all political and legal means in its possession" to have Britain halt the unchecked wastewater.

Both lawmakers come from France, whose waters would be most directly affected by any spread of the raw sewage from Britain across the Channel. Waters around Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands and Denmark could also be impacted.

The lawmakers' letter argued that by allowing the sewage outflows, Britain was failing to uphold its commitments under its post-Brexit treaty with the EU about not rolling back environmental protections, as well as UN conventions.

Source: DW

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