On the 25 November 1999, the Secretary of State for the Environment in England and Wales announced the outcome of the water companies' third Periodic Review. As a result, a major environmental investment programme will be completed during the period 2000/2005. Overall in England and Wales, it is planned that almost 3,600 km of rivers will be protected or improved and 3,800 unsatisfactory CSOs will be improved to allow receiving water objectives to be met. This means that over the next 5-year period an average of nearly 18 discharges will be improved every week. The implementation of the programme will involve a large workload for the Environment Agency in planning and authorising the individual schemes for delivery by the water companies. The paper illustrates how the Urban Pollution Management procedure and associated environmental standards are to be used to underpin the Environment Agency's policy, to encourage the use of integrated wastewater planning and, as a result, ensure that the anticipated environmental improvements will be delivered.

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