Work to protect and enhance our environment has taken a big step forward with the Environment Bill passing into law.
The Environment Act, as it is now known, is one of the biggest pieces of legislation ever to have gone through Parliament.
It includes new legally binding targets to improve air quality, biodiversity, water, waste reduction and resource efficiency. And it creates the new Office for Environmental Protection to enforce environmental law and make sure these targets are met.
Thank you to everyone who contacted me about the Bill. I know people were determined to see this new law go as far as possible in raising environmental standards.
I’m pleased the Government took the decision to enhance the Bill as it went through Parliament to extend protection and legal duties in some really important areas.
The new law includes a new legal duty to halt the decline in species by 2030, along with a requirement for new developments to increase biodiversity by at least 10 per cent.
Crucially, the new law will crack down on water companies that discharge sewage into our rivers and coastlines. This includes a legal duty on water companies to reduce the impacts of discharges from storm overflows.
This is good news for our local environment in Faversham and Mid Kent.