I am proud to have supported the Government amendment to the Bill which will force water companies to take real action on the issue.
It will ensure that:
A legal duty is placed on water companies to progressively reduce the impact of sewage discharges.
Has enforcement mechanisms.
Requires water companies to carry out works to reduce the impact of sewage discharges on the environment and public health.
A new duty directly on water companies and the Environment Agency to publish data on storm overflow operation on an annual basis and in real time, which will help with enforcement.
A duty for Ofwat (the regulator) to incentivise companies to invest in reducing the use of overflows.
A requirement for government to produce a report setting out the actions that would be needed to eliminate discharges from storm overflows in England, and the costs and benefits of those actions.
Much more besides - the part of the Bill relating to storm overflows runs to about 10 pages.
We are the first Government in our history to take any action on storm overflows and I am pleased to have backed these additional measures.