There are alarming reports in The Guardian this week that:

England’s Environment Agency has told its staff to ‘shut down’ and ignore reports of low-impact pollution events because it does not have enough money to investigate them, according to a leaked internal report.

The ruling on so-called category 3 and 4 incidents means that events such as farm pollution or hazardous dumps by businesses may not be properly investigated. The decision has infuriated river groups and NGOs…’

In truth, the Environment Agency (EA) does not receive sufficient funds from Government to do all it is required to do.

It is therefore in the difficult position that it struggles to find resource to adequately undertake many of its regulated roles – look at the state of rivers as an example of this.

Attending pollution incidents is an important activity but so are many of its other regulatory roles.

As an Association we have very close links to the EA and great respect for the dedication and professionalism for its staff. However, they are overstretched, underfunded, are littered with staff shortages leaving many posts vacant, with many staff frustrated that they are unable to execute their regulatory role as well as their experience tells them they should.

More information at:


I have written to my MP following this report and would advise you to do so. Only by lobbying will the EA receive more money to enable it to start to undertake a more effective regulatory role. In the meantime support Agency officers you know – they are having a tough time!