UK's wastewater dumping irks France, asks European Union for actiontext_fields
Paris: Overflowing untreated wastewater released to English Channel and rivers from UK's faulty sewage system has raised health concerns in France as it pollutes the area's bathing waters, fishing grounds and biodiversity.
Three French members of the European Parliament warned in a letter to the European Commission about the potential health hazards the sewage water could have in the European Union, according to a report by the news agency AP.
Adding to UK's long running wastewater dumping problem, heavy rains last week further worsened the situation, making water companies to release excessive untreated wastewaters into rivers and seas.
Just as authorities are investigating permit violations by six water companies, environment groups allege these companies failed to make necessary repairs.
Indicating the seriousness of the issue, authorities warned people from going to beaches last week fearing public health.
The activist group Surfers Against Sewage reported 654 alerts of sewer overflows spilling sewage into bathing waters this summer from 171 locations in England and Wales, the report said.
Calling out the wastewater dumping, Stephanie Yon-Courtin, a member of the European Parliament, warned UK that "The English Channel and the North Sea are not dumping grounds."
She said that putting into grave danger the environment, the economic activity of fishers and health of people by UK's repeated negligence cannot be tolerated.
The French lawmakers accused the U.K. of violating its post-Brexit trade deal with the EU.
They asked the Commission "to use all the political and legal means in its possession" to find a solution. The European Commission has not yet reportedly contacted London regarding the complaints.
Britain's Conservative government has played down the criticism, claiming that it has strengthened water quality regulations since Brexit, according to the report.