Jersey States Ministers to do with the environment have issued a media release in response to our last report. They have also issued a more detailed statement. As expected, the releases areanodyne, appears to say and promise much (but in fact don’t) and contain some errors.
In short, they are saying things are happening and everything is OK. We say, yes, things are starting to happen, though not enough, and that water quality is definitely not OK at the moment, though we hope it will be soon.
(We are not holding our breath just yet as we know not all recommendations made in the past by Scrutiny have been implemented.)
They also say we were using some dodgy data – however, the data quoted in the report are States’ data…
Their more detailed release is here, with our comments in red. Please note, this is just a quick answer on a first read through. We will be answering in more detail in due course.
Here is the short media release they sent out (or you can download it here):
The Ministers for the Environment and Infrastructure have set out progress on improving water quality in Jersey.
The Minister for the Environment, Deputy Steve Luce, and the Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Eddie Noel have jointly responded to SOS Jersey’s report
The Nitrate Problem in Jersey and its Consequences: Death by Neglect – Jersey’s Environmental Time Bomb.
The report is SOSJ’s submission to the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel as part of its current review ‘Nitrate Levels in Jersey’s Water’.
The Ministers have welcomed Save Our Shoreline Jersey’s focus on the marine environment but addressed inaccuracies in the report and responded to concerns raised. In their response, they make the following points:
- Jersey is not at an environmental tipping point. There are challenges ahead, but the evidence shows Jersey’s water quality is improving.
- The Department for the Environment and the Department for Infrastructure are working together to improve water quality and have adopted many recommendations made in a previous scrutiny panel review.
- The States-approved five-year water management plan is in place.
- Water quality in Jersey is improving: stream quality is higher, average nitrate levels are falling, pollution incidents and storm overspills are reducing.
- The Action for Cleaner Water Group is improving agricultural and horticultural practices and fertiliser use is reducing.
- The Environment Department and the Department for Infrastructure follow current protocols and carry out monitoring, sampling and research in their specific areas to ensure public safety and environmental stewardship.
- The revised Rural Economy Strategy will support the work of the Water Management Plan in improving water quality.
- A planned new sewage treatment works will improve the quality of treated waste flowing to St Aubin.
- Sea lettuce is a global problem. The key focus of the Environment Department’s work is to reduce nitrates at source.
Points of contact
Director of Environmental Protection Dr Tim du Feu: +44 (0)1534 441691.
The Minister for Environment, Deputy Steve Luce: +44 (0)1534 448416.