Contaminated land—enforcing authorities' costs recovery for remediation work
Contaminated land—enforcing authorities' costs recovery for remediation work

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

  • Contaminated land—enforcing authorities' costs recovery for remediation work
  • When can costs be recovered by an enforcing authority?
  • Hardship considerations
  • How are costs recovered?
  • Charging notices

When can costs be recovered by an enforcing authority?

Subject to the Environmental Protection Act 1990, ss 78J(7) and 78K(6) (EPA 1990), an enforcing authority is entitled to recover its reasonable costs from the appropriate person(s) where it has carried out remediation work pursuant to its powers under the EPA 1990, s 78N(3)(a), (c), (e) and (f):

  1. where there is imminent danger of serious harm, or serious pollution of controlled waters

  2. a person fails to comply with any of the requirements in a remediation notice

  3. it would decide, due to hardship considerations, not to recover some or all of its costs (eg it may be able to recover its costs where it is entitled to recover a portion of those costs)

  4. no appropriate person, in relation to a particular thing, has been found after reasonable inquiry (eg it may be able to recover its costs if an appropriate person is later found)

Where there are two or more appropriate persons, the enforcing authority may recover its costs from those persons in proportions determined under the EPA 1990, s 78F(7).

An enforcing authority is not entitled to recover its costs where it has carried out remediation work:

  1. in accordance with a written agreement between it and an appropriate person, as the authority will be able to recover its costs from that person