20th December 2017

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent progress he has made on improving the cleanliness of West Sussex rivers.

Dr Thérèse Coffey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment: The Environment Agency (EA) works with partners and stakeholders to improve the water environment.

The EA uses evidence to prioritise and target work in areas most at risk from pollution, including both point and diffuse sources. The EA completes its regulatory duties focusing on compliance and enforcement of main polluters. The EA also provides advice and guidance through pollution prevention campaigns.

The EA works with and influences Water Companies (Southern Water, South East Water and Portsmouth Water) to make environmental improvements through their business planning processes. This results in further investigations and improvements to Sewage Treatment Works and other works within river catchments.

The EA works with two Catchment Partnerships in West Sussex to align priorities and develop joint initiatives to tackle water quality issues across the catchment areas.

Partnership projects in West Sussex have delivered 16km of rivers enhanced since January 2016. The EA is working with a wide range of partners throughout West Sussex on projects to be delivered over the next 3 years which will directly or indirectly relate to water quality improvement in rivers. An example of solutions being explored are natural flood management opportunities and working with the landowners to intercept, store and filter run-off containing diffuse pollution.

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