This case will help you.

Storm overflows, nutrient concentrations in discharges from sewage treatment works and eutrophication of surface water regularly reach both the professional and the mainstream media. There is a complex and interlocking legal context for the regulation of sewage undertakers, the extent to which we treat, or do not treat, urban waste water, the environmental objectives for the quality of our rivers and how infrastructure and environmental improvements are funded. For an explanation of some key elements of the regime, you can now go to the judgment of Mr Justice Holgate in a recent and unsuccessful challenge to the DEFRA’s plan for reducing the discharges from storm overflows.

The judge explains and grapples with the interactions between relevant parts of (see §§30-94):

  • The Water Industry Act 1991
  • The Environment Act 2021
  • Urban Waste Water Treatment (England and Wales) Regulations 1994
  • Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016 (England and Wales)
  • The Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) (England and Wales) Regulations 2017
  • The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017
  • European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018
  • Human Rights Act 1998

The issues can give rise to strongly held views. The judge emphasises that the court is only concerned with the issues of law and expresses no view one way or another on the merits of the policy and plan (§8).

You can find a copy of the judgment here.