Contaminated land—apportioning liability between members
Contaminated land—apportioning liability between members

The following Environment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Contaminated land—apportioning liability between members
  • Determining liability
  • Class A persons
  • Class B persons

Determining liability

Enforcing authorities should follow the five step procedure set out in the statutory guidance for determining liability under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, s 78F (EPA 1990). Not all stages of the procedure will be relevant in all cases. See Practice Note: Contaminated land—process for determining liability.

Step five in the procedure requires the enforcing authority to apportion liability between the remaining members of each liability group.

For any liability group which has only a single remaining member, that person bears all of the costs falling to that liability group. For any liability group which has two or more remaining members, the enforcing authority should apply the guidance on apportionment. Different considerations apply to Class A liability groups and Class B liability groups.

Class A persons

General principles

When apportioning liability between the members of a single Class A liability group, the enforcing authority must determine the proportion of costs to be borne by each member of the group taking account of the relative degree of responsibility of each member for creating or continuing the risk being caused by the significant contaminant linkage (SCL).

If there is not enough information to enable an assessment of relative responsibility, and such information cannot be reasonably obtained, the enforcing authority should apportion liability in equal shares.

Specific approaches

As well as considering