Environment Agency—powers to investigate environmental crime
Produced in partnership with Christopher Badger of 6 Pump Court and Christian Jowett of 30 Park Place, Cardiff and 36 Group, 36 Commercial, London

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with Christopher Badger of 6 Pump Court and Christian Jowett of 30 Park Place, Cardiff and 36 Group, 36 Commercial, London provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Environment Agency—powers to investigate environmental crime
  • Specific statutory powers of the EA
  • Core powers under EA 1995, section 108
  • Power of entry under EA 1995
  • Power to compel the provision of information under EA 1995
  • Powers of seizure under EA 1995
  • Power to issue restriction notices and restriction orders under EA 1995
  • Powers under the Environment Protection Act 1990
  • Power to require the removal of waste under EPA 1990
  • Power to search and seize vehicles under EPA 1990
  • More...

Environment Agency—powers to investigate environmental crime

The Environment Agency (EA) is one of the regulators responsible for the enforcement of environmental law and the prosecution of environmental crime in England. Other regulators responsible for environmental compliance and prosecution in England include local authorities and Natural England. Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is the responsible authority, for Wales, and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) in Scotland.

This Practice Note focuses on the powers of EA to investigate environmental crime.

For information on the enforcement and prosecution of environmental crime generally, see Practice Note: Environmental prosecution and enforcement policy.

For information on the powers of other environmental regulators, see Practice Notes:

  1. Natural England—powers to investigate environmental crime

  2. Local authorities—powers to investigate environmental crime

  3. Natural Resources Wales—powers to investigate environmental crime

  4. Scottish Environment Protection Agency—powers to investigate environmental crimes

On 16 January 2020, EA became a founding partner in the new Joint Unit for Waste Crime (JUWC) (JUWC), a taskforce dedicated to tackling serious and organised waste crime, such as dumping hazardous materials on private land and falsely labelling waste so it can be exported to unsuspecting countries. Other partners include NRW, SEPA, the police, HMRC and the National Crime Agency.

Specific statutory powers of the EA

The legislation setting out EA’s powers of investigation does not define ‘investigation’.

However, EA’s investigatory powers are provided by and regulated by statute. It is important to remember

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