The government is facing yet more legal action over its environmental strategy, after a coalition of green and health groups today formally submitted a complaint to the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) alleging Defra has acted unlawfully by missing the legal deadline to set new targets through the Environment Act.

More than 30 organisations have signed the complaint, including National Trust, The Wildlife Trusts, the RSPCA, ZSL, Greenpeace, Asthma & Lung UK, and the Greener UK group.

It calls on the recently launched OEP to formally investigate Defra’s failure to set new targets covering areas such as biodiversity loss, water pollution, waste and recycling, and air quality ahead of a statutory deadline of 31 October.

The government acknowledged last month that it would miss the deadline, arguing that a large number of responses to its consultation on the new targets had meant that it was “not possible to publish the

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