144 of Cumbria?s Sites of Specific Scientific Interest (SSI?s) have been excluded from a list of locations to be given special protection from waste dumping and the discharge of pollutants into water. According to new EU regulations, people who pollute SSSI?s must pay to rectify the damage.

Environmental group GeneWatch have accused the government of trying to save money through the EU?s environmental liability directive, which is intended to hold companies liable for damage. Campaigners now see the loop-hole as a licence to dump as the areas are no longer protected.