LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Southern Water was handed a record fine of 90 million pounds on Friday after pleading guilty to illegal discharges of sewage which polluted rivers and coastal waters in southern England, the government said.
The Environment Agency said the case, the largest in its history, saw pollution offences from 16 waste water treatment works and one storm overflow and that Southern Water pleaded guilty on 51 counts.
"With nature in crisis, no one should profit from undermining environmental laws," Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, said in a statement.
"This sentence shows fines for environmental offences are starting to reach the same level as the highest fines for crimes in financial services and that is good."
(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by David Evans)