NRA ruling means Toller wins water quality battle

SOLICITOR Peter Scott of Barnstable-based firm Toller Beattie has won a battle in his fight with the Government over European guidelines on water quality.

Scott is fighting a series of actions on behalf of the shellfish industry against government guidelines which he says contravene European law.

Now the Department of the Environment has confirmed to Scott that the National Rivers Authority (NRA) can reject any part of the Government's AMP (2) guidelines when meeting legal obligations set down by Brussels.

Scott says: “This could be very good news for consumers. The NRA will be operating legal guidelines already in place at the date of the review, and the companies may well not be able to increase charges to take account of additional requirements made by the NRA as a result of this new development.”

In a separate matter, a meeting of OFWAT's South West committee decided that South West Water (SWW) could keep charges paid for the construction of a sewage works at Ashford in North Devon.

Scott claimed SWW had already been paid for the UV standard treatment at the works, and delays in carrying out the work were “not just a case of deferring schemes and making more profit…but SWW applying to NRA to abandon the 1989 legal standards so it can indefinitely postpone the scheme it has been paid for”.