Environmentalists slam British government for releasing sewage into rivers, sea

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After opposition parties and environmentalists slammed the measures as insufficient and costly for consumers, Britain’s environment minister on Saturday defended government plans to tackle sewage releases into rivers and sea.

punctualing widespread horror among the public, recent discharges of sewage into popular river and sea bathing areas have caused activists to raise an alarm over waters shared with the European Union.

Several members of parliament have complained to the European Commission about British sewage allegedly being poured into the bloc’s water bodies.

Requiring them to invest £56 billion ($66 billion) over 25 years to improve infrastructure such as storm overflows, the UK government on Friday announced the “toughest targets ever” for water companies.

Britons have expressed frustration over the plan as some of that cost will be passed onto customers through bills.

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While untreated wastewater goes directly into watercourses or the sea, storm channels are conduits used during heavy rain to prevent sewers from becoming overfull.

Criticising the plan, ‘The Rivers Trust’ charity said it was “too little, too late” and environment spokesman for the Liberal Democratic Party Tim Farron called it a “cruel joke”.

”You could argue that governments down the decades should have prioritised this,” said environment secretary George Eustice.

(With inputs from agencies)

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