The National Audit Office Report, Tackling Diffuse Water Pollution in England, addresses three issues: the Environment Agency’s understanding of the sources of diffuse pollution; whether awareness of diffuse pollution is being raised; and whether the Agency is making good use of its legal powers to address the problem. The issues are of critical importance in relation to the implementation of the EU Agricultural Nitrates (91/676/EEC) and Water Framework (2000/60/EC) Directives and the prospect of the UK failing to meet environmental requirements under the latter because of diffuse pollution. The Report reviews the costs and benefits of measures that are being taken. But the lack of progress in respect of all three issues raises fundamental questions about the appropriateness of the existing legal provisions to address the problem.
Description / Abstract