The Rivers Trust respond to the EA regarding revised permit charge proposals
The Rivers Trust has raised concerns with the Environment Agency that the revised flood risk activity permit charges could see many smaller river restoration and enhancement schemes on main rivers become cost prohibitive to the detriment of the Environment Agency (EA) water quality and flooding targets Trusts set out to achieve in partnership.
The Rivers Trust have asked for further clarification and guidance from the EA through the ongoing consultation process as to whether schemes with drivers to enhance the environment or reduce flood risk would be subject to the proposed revised charges, or whether there are opportunities to explore permit exemptions and waive proposed fees for these works.
The EA have welcomed the initial response from The Rivers Trust, describing it as a “good and welcome challenge” while also reiterating that there is a real opportunity for the network of local Rivers Trusts, CaBA groups and wider partners to influence EA thinking by forming individual consultation responses.
The EA have also been clear that the more weight that the Rivers Trust movement can put behind these key concerns in terms of numbers of numbers of consultation responses the better chance of influencing the EA’s decision-making process.
The Rivers Trust as the umbrella body of The Rivers Trust movement and administers of Defra’s Catchment Based Approach will continue to lobby the EA on their charge proposals whilst encourage local trusts and partner organisations to complete their own consultation responses to emphasise our collective concerns.
The EA consultation on charge proposals from April 2018 is open until 26th January 2018 with consultation documentation and guidance on how to provide feedback on the EA website.
Note to Trusts: Please continue to send feedback to the EA via this link. Further queries can be addressed directly to the EA using contact details on the consultation web pages.