U.K. Environment Agency in Need of Overhaul After Winter Floodsby
Flooding in northern Britain last winter cost 5 billion pounds
Negligent developers should be liable for flood costs
U.K. lawmakers called for an overhaul of the Environment Agency to help prevent the kinds of floods that ravaged parts of the country last winter.
In a report published Wednesday, the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee attacked current risk-management arrangements as “fragmented, inefficient and ineffective” and said the government is offering only “limited solutions.”
“Some 5 million people in England are at risk of flooding,” said Neil Parish, chairman of the cross-party panel. “Our proposals will deliver a far more holistic approach to flooding and water-supply management.”
Developers who fail to meet planning requirements should be liable for the costs of any flooding, the committee said. It also called for a grant program to help small businesses install flood-protection measures.
Thousands of families were removed from their homes as storms Desmond, Eva and Frank hit northern Britain over the winter, causing huge floods and an estimated 5 billion pounds ($6 billion) of damage. The action taken by the Environment Agency came under heavy criticism, which led to the resignation of its chairman, Philip Dilley, in January.