The Environment Agency (EA) has published its Annual Report and Accounts for 2018-2019, outlining what has been achieved in the last financial year.
The report outlines the EA’s work toward goals set out in the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.
One of the key priorities is to reduce the impact of waste crime on local communities and to ensure a level playing field for legitimate businesses.
The EA says it has now closes at least 2 illegal waste sites every day and has been granted new powers to lock up sites, force rogue operators to clear them up, and seize and destroy vehicles being used in waste crime.
The EA has brought 77 successful waste crime prosecutions, resulting in 8 prison sentences & fines of £440,000.
Over the past year, the Environment Agency has shown how committed it is to addressing both the causes and impacts of the climate emergency, while demonstrating the links between sustainability and business opportunities by mirroring the vision set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Over the past year, the EA says it has gone even further to align its core values and mission to protect and enhance the environment with the bold vision set out in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
This year also marks the launch of a new draft strategy for dealing with flooding and coastal erosion in a changing climate.
The strategy outlines an agile approach to ensure the country is preparing for a range of climate futures, including a 4°C rise in global temperatures, while developing new standards of flood resilience.
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said: “Over the past year, the Environment Agency has shown how committed it is to addressing both the causes and impacts of the climate emergency, while demonstrating the links between sustainability and business opportunities by mirroring the vision set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“This report demonstrates how we are also achieving the goals of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan by enhancing habitats and protecting communities from flooding, while creating better places for people and wildlife, regulating industry and supporting economic prosperity.
This year’s annual report also highlights progress the Environment Agency has made towards fulfilling the goals set out in its Action Plan up to 2020.
Over the past year the Environment Agency has:
- invested £1.4 billion into protecting and improving the environment
- launched and consulted on a new draft strategy for dealing with flooding and coastal erosion in a changing climate
- signed up 12,700 new customers up to our Flood Warning Service reaching 1.5m properties
- better protected additional 50,754 homes from flooding during 2018-19
- created created more than 1100 acres of new priority habitats, exceeding the target of 1000 acres
- enhanced the water quality for people and wildlife along 44 km of the River Thames
- responded to a record 329 dry weather incidents
- exceeded our target of 6,500 people trained and ready to respond to environmental incidents
- brought 77 successful waste crime prosecutions resulting in 8 prison sentences & fines of £440k
- reduced our carbon footprint by 48% against our 2006-07 baseline year.