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Thames Water top UK polluter, says govt body

Thames Water, owned by German utility RWE , topped a British pollution league table as the worst offender for the second year running last week as an environmental watchdog called for higher fines and stiffer penalties in the fight against pollution...Other top polluters included well known companies like Railtrack, TotalFinaElf and Southern Water, owned by Scottish Power...The agency's [Environment Agency for England and Wales] chief executive, Barbara Young said fines were currently too low to deter polluters and failed to reflect the real environmental cost..."With a few exceptions the scale of penalities levied by the courts makes pollution - and prosecution - an acceptable risk and an acceptable business expense for too many", Young said.