Environment Agency (EA) staff have been told to ignore reports of low-impact pollution situations due to lack of funds available, The Guardian newspaper reported.

A leaked internal report seen by the British daily said agency staff have been told to ‘ignore’ Category 3 and 4 environmental incidents as part of a triage process.

The paper leaked to the press how that in November, EA said there is a high-level support for “no response to unfunded low and no-impact environmental incidents.”

EA has apparently made it clear to government departments in charge of the coffers that if the department is under-funded, they will prioritise larger environmental events because of a lack of availability.

However, there are exceptions to the rule, including that of water companies potentially damaging the environmental conditions in where they work.

In response, the EA said, “ There are reports today on claims that the Environment Agency (EA) has told staff to “ignore” lower impact pollution events – known as Category 3 and 4 incidents – as part of a triage process.”

It added, “The EA receives over 100,000 incident reports a year, every one of which is recorded and assessed. Like every other public sector organisation with finite resources, the EA focuses its efforts on where they will have the most impact – so those which pose the greatest risk to the environment.”

An EA spokesman said, they focus on the sites with the biggest damage including those with the “greatest risk to the environment.”

However, on the response site, several people have commented on the leaked information. Dave Stanley wrote, “The fundamental question is how many of these incidents result in serious prosecution with significant fines to deter other occurrences by polluters.”

EA Telephone number:

If members of the public wish to report an environmental incident, they should do so by calling 0800 80 70 60.