SCOTLAND’S environmental body will not follow England’s decision to ”sanction pollution” by allowing companies to dump sewage which has not been properly treated into the nation’s waterways, The National can reveal.
As such, the agency said firms could “discharge effluent without meeting the conditions” in their permits, as long as a written agreement had been obtained first.
The Environment Agency said the temporary relaxation of the rules would last until the end of the year, with an extension possible.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said that no water company had yet notified it of a shortage of the chemical in question, ferric sulphate, but the permit waiver was being introdcued as a precautionary measure.
However, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has told The National that no such waiver is being considered in Scotland.
A spokesperson said that Scottish Water had confirmed that “there are currently no chemical supply issues impacting on their services”.
“Sepa does not currently have any plans to issue any temporary regulatory guidance in relation to chemical supplies,” they added.
Commenting on the UK Government’s decision to introduce the waivers, the deputy leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, Amelia Womack, said pollution was being “sanctioned as a result of the failure of Government”.
Womack went on: “This is a failure of their understanding on how our country’s most basic infrastructure works and using our environment as a dumping ground rather than addressing the root causes of the problem.
“To prevent further Brexit chaos and undermining of environmental protections, the government must work to mend supply chains and work to cooperate rather than trying to look ‘tough’.”
The expected shortages south of the Border are just the latest in a long line of issues linked to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Restaurant chains including KFC, Nando’s, and McDonald’s have experienced shortages of popular menu items, while IKEA stores across the UK have had difficulty supplying around 1000 product lines.