‘It is desperate’: how Environment Agency staff were silenced as pollution worsened

1/29/2022 12:57:00 PM
‘It is desperate’: how Environment Agency staff were silenced as pollution worsened

‘It is desperate’: how Environment Agency staff were silenced as pollution worsened

Environment Agency, Rivers

‘It is desperate’: how Environment Agency staff were silenced as pollution worsened

As public disgust at foul waterways in England grew, the body responsible for protecting them tried to stifle internal criticism

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Comments made “inside or outside work”, including derogatory statements about the organisation, managers, colleagues, stakeholders, customers or contractors, and anything that brought the agency into disrepute, or reflected on its performance, were all subject to sanction. Although pressures on the agency and its staff have grown each year as its government grant has been incrementally slashed by nearly two-thirds , this threat from Bevan marked a nadir. Cecilia Martinez, a top official at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and David Kieve, who conducted outreach with environmental justice groups, both left the White House, putting a spotlight on promises yet to be fulfilled. “It is desperate,” said Nick Measham of Salmon and Trout Conservation.’ Vertical Forest is greening the urban landscape The new project features both open and closed balconies, which brings a sense of movement to a design constantly in flux thanks to the developing nature of the foliage. “It shows a lack of confidence and suggests a very unhappy workplace. As the first Black man to lead the agency, the issue “is really personal for me, as well as professional,″ he told The Associated Press in November.” Why Bevan felt compelled to issue his message when he did can perhaps be traced back to a few weeks before in November last year, when staff were given formal instructions to shut down and stop investigating low level pollution events, so-called level 3 and 4 incidents. Get exclusive celebrity stories and fabulous photoshoots straight to your inbox with OK!'s daily newsletter .

The memo, seen by the Guardian, clearly laid out the dire state of the organisation’s investigative and enforcement capabilities. Historically marginalized communities like St. ‘The completion of Easyhome Huanggang Vertical Forest City Complex is a big step in the practice of Stefano Boeri’s green concept in China,’ says Xu Yibo, partner of Stefano Boeri Architetti China. “We do not have sufficient funding to continue to provide our current level of environment management incident response and have made it clear to government that you get the environment you pay for,” it read. “As a result, we have decided to reduce our response to unfunded low and no impact environmental incidents. James, along with cities such as New Orleans, Jackson and Houston, will benefit from the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law signed by Biden, Regan said.” The memo admitted this would not be popular with the public, many of whom work as volunteers to plug gaps in Environment Agency monitoring of rivers to track pollution.’ Adds Pietro Chiodi, project director of Stefano Boeri Architetti China: ‘The first Vertical Forest built in China has a double meaning: for us, it opens a new architectural typology – with extruded volumes fitting among the trees – while for Huanggang it may trigger an overall process of regeneration and redevelopment of the urban context. “This is not an easy transition and our officers and advisers are facing criticism from our customers for the reduction in our service,” it read. As part of its enforcement action, the EPA is requiring a former DuPont petrochemical plant in La Place, Louisiana, to install fence-line monitors to identify emissions from the site, Regan said.6 million times, he shows his fans how to quickly make four perfect sausage rolls in a matter of minutes.

The axing of core pollution detection work was something environmental charities suspected had been in play for a while. Michelle Walker of the Rivers Trust said: “Anecdotally we had heard for some time that they just won’t come out to a pollution incident unless there are dead fish, for example, or unless there are the right number of dead fish. The agency also said it will push for greater scrutiny of a proposed expansion of a Formosa Plastics plant in St. But the fact that they are now formally making that policy is shocking.” For frontline staff, the individuals whose task is to go out and investigate pollution, identify polluters and make them accountable, it was, insiders said, another example that their work was not a priority in the EA. Regan said he has spoken with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell about Gordon Plaza, a city neighborhood built on the site of a former toxic landfill. Multiple and repeated complaints to managers had been made internally about the move away from frontline responses for some time, the Guardian has been told. If its good enough for Mark and he recommends it then thats good enough for me,” another wrote.

Some staff have carried on doing the work, only to face reprimands from managers. The EPA will review the site, starting in March, Regan said, and will add nine homes not included in earlier plans to help families move. Insiders point out that attending level 3 and 4 pollution incidents can prevent higher risk pollution incidents in future. A staff survey carried out in October and November reflected the dismay, revealing increasing levels of workplace stress and low morale, with staff struggling with their mental health. EPA also said it has completed a review of proposed actions to clean up creosote contamination from a site in Houston now owned by Union Pacific Railroad. After 26 years as a statutory regulator the agency has moved in the last two decades away from its frontline enforcement and monitoring role. In 2009 it changed its policy to allow water companies to self monitor their own discharge and report breaches, rather than their own staff visiting and taking their own independent samples. EPA said it will work with Texas officials to ensure corrective actions address the concerns of community members. Be the first to meet the latest showbiz babies, see the most sought after wedding pictures of the year, or take a guided tour around your favourite star's lavish multi-million pound home - all for free! Sign up here “The Ambiano Sausage Roll Maker features a non-stick coated cooking plates designed to make cleaning a breeze.

The conviction of Southern Water last year for deliberately discharging billions of litres of raw sewage into the sea, and covering up its actions by very significant under-reporting of the pollution, has not led to a change in this policy. As government funding for its environmental protection work continues to decline; from about £170m in 2009-10 to £94m last year the gaps are increasingly being filled by charges to the industries and businesses the agency regulates, including water companies and waste firms – £330m in 2021/2.” Sharon Lavigne, president of Rise St. Whistleblowers speaking to the Guardian say the money within the agency has shifted as a result from the officers investigating and monitoring pollution to middle managers dealing with the businesses being regulated who increasingly provide the funding for its work. Between 2013 and 2018, monitoring of water quality in freshwater environments was halved from 10,797 sites to 4,656, according to data collated by Salmon and Trout Conservation and a farmer can only expect a visit from an EA officer once every 263 years, by the agency’s own admission. “It’s important that EPA recognizes the need to listen to the science, which shows the destructive Formosa plastics facility should be stopped and that no other harmful chemical facilities should be allowed to cause harm in our community anymore,” Lavigne said. “These management teams now appear to be directly funded by businesses we regulate, at the expense of the teams that are tasked to carry out the investigation and enforcement,” said one insider. The gadget costs £19.

“The overall feeling is that this has not happened by accident but that water quality is no longer a priority and the environment in most cases is expendable,” another source told the Guardian.” More Must-Read Stories From TIME How. “There appears to be a direction aimed at working alongside water companies, industry and agriculture, rather than regulating them. The EA is as far removed from the polluter pays principle as it has ever been, and what is most concerning is that this appears to be by design.” Prosecutions by the agency in the decade to 2020 have fallen dramatically. Civil sanctions, known as enforcement undertakings, have increasingly been used since 2010; they are a voluntary legally binding agreement that avoids anyone being held criminally responsible and instead requires an offender to pay a financial contribution towards the environment..

Read more “We have a situation where court actions for water offences brought by the EA fell from 235 in 2002 to 20 in 2019 to three in 2020,” said Caroline Lucas, the Green MP and member of the parliamentary environmental audit committee. “Something is clearly going wrong and there is a clear conflict of interest when the agency is left so dependent on income from the permits paid for by the very companies that it’s meant to be regulating.” Tom Burke, co-founder of the environmental consultancy E3G, said the shift in policy was the result of a deliberate political plan to weaken environmental regulation by stealth. “The agency is set up in statute so any effort to close it would require primary legislation, which would run into a hurricane of opposition,” he said. “By taking away its budgets and independence you get a nice label for the gutless business service organisation we see today.

” Increasingly, however, the response of the public seems to chime with the apparent frustrations and discontent of frontline staff. From residents who live near polluted landfill sites to river users pushing for cleaner waterways to coastal communities setting up their own groups to monitor the regular discharges of raw sewage by water companies, the view is the agency is not doing enough to stop pollution, bring polluters to account and protect the environment. As Amy Slack of Surfers Against Sewage told MPs recently: “We have never seen greater awareness and appetite for change as we are now … people do not want to be swimming and playing in polluted water and are generally shocked when they find out the extent of the problem.” An EA spokesperson said: “The Environment Agency delivers a massive amount for the country – like the rest of the public sector we operate within a tight budget and must prioritise to ensure we are doing the best we can, with the money we have, for the people and places we serve.” Topics .