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Pollution: Prosecutions

Volume 496: debated on Monday 20 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many incidents of diffuse pollution have been recorded in each year since 1997; and how many such incidents have resulted in (a) prosecutions and (b) fines for those convicted of such offences. (286464)

The Environment Agency’s national incident recording system (NIRS) records all pollution incidents reported to the Agency since 2001. The Environment Agency does not classify such incidents as point or diffuse pollution. An approximation of the number of “diffuse incidents” can be derived from NIRS by counting incidents that arose from an unregulated site where the cause was not identified. Data are available and provided on this basis for full calendar years from 2001 until 2009.

For prosecution and fines there is often a time lag between the incident being reported and the completion of any enforcement action. Yearly figures in this table therefore may relate to incidents which occurred in the previous year or earlier. This is why some prosecutions have been prosecuted and reported in 2009.

Number of “Diffuse” incidents

Number of prosecutions

Fines (£)

2001

3,233

9

28,850

2002

4,518

7

13,700

2003

3,866

7

19,225

2004

3,506

3

5,000

2005

3,360

8

28,033

2006

3,023

2

1,350

2007

2,686

3

6,000

2008

2,379

10

24,250

2009 (to date)

0

6

7,750