Environment—United Kingdom—Q&A guide
Environment—United Kingdom—Q&A guide

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

  • Environment—United Kingdom—Q&A guide
  • 1. What are the main statutes and regulations relating to the environment?
  • 2. Is there a system of integrated control of pollution?
  • 3. What are the main characteristics of the rules applicable to soil pollution?
  • 4. What types of waste are regulated and how?
  • 5. What are the main features of the rules governing air emissions?
  • 6. How are fresh water and seawater, and their associated land, protected?
  • 7. What are the main features of the rules protecting natural spaces and landscapes?
  • 8. What are the main features of the rules protecting flora and fauna species?
  • 9. What are the main features of the rules governing noise, odours and vibrations?
  • More...

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to environment in United Kingdom published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: July 2020).

Authors: White & Case LLP—Tallat Hussain; Sarah Voulaz

1. What are the main statutes and regulations relating to the environment?

Environmental protection

The UK has a substantial body of environmental law and policy. This chapter discusses the main aspects of this area of law including planning, environmental permitting, hazardous substances, conservation, waste management and environmental liability. The key statutes and regulations relating to the environment are discussed in the sections below. They include:

  1. the Environmental Protection Act 1990;

  2. the Town and Country Planning Act 1990;

  3. the Planning Act 2008;

  4. the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016;

  5. the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2015; and

  6. the Water Resources Act 1991.

While there are many similarities in environmental law and policy across the UK, there is also variation between the laws of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This chapter focuses on the law in England and Wales unless otherwise specified.

UK environmental law has been heavily influenced by EU law and policy. EU Directives on environmental law are implemented through domestic secondary legislation, while EU Regulations relating to environmental matters are directly applicable in the UK.

In June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union (generally referred

Popular documents