Environmental civil sanctions—enforcement bodies and outline of sanctions

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

  • Environmental civil sanctions—enforcement bodies and outline of sanctions
  • Enforcement bodies
  • RESA civil sanctions
  • Fixed monetary penalty
  • Variable monetary penalty
  • Compliance notice
  • Restoration notice
  • Stop notice
  • Enforcement undertaking
  • Combining civil sanctions
  • More...

Environmental civil sanctions—enforcement bodies and outline of sanctions

Reviewed by Professor Richard Macrory

Enforcement bodies

Since 4 January 2011, the Environment Agency (EA) has been using new enforcement powers under the Environmental Civil Sanctions (England) Order 2010, SI 2010/1157 and the Environmental Sanctions (Wales) Order 2010, SI 2010/1821. Natural England (NE) started using its powers from 3 January 2012. The EA and NE are responsible for enforcing environmental civil sanctions in England. From 1 April 2013, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has been responsible for enforcing environmental civil sanctions in Wales.

Civil sanctions were introduced under the Regulatory Sanctions and Enforcement Act 2008 (RESA 2008) which provides the core framework. Orders made under RESA 2008 in relation to environmental civil sanctions came into force in England on 6 April 2010 and in Wales on 15 July 2010. They aim to make environmental law enforcement more flexible and effective for both regulators and businesses. EA guidance states that 'the aim of enforcement is to make sure business and industry takes appropriate action to protect the environment, make sure regulations which prevent pollution are complied with and secure better outcomes for the environment, people and business'.

The civil sanction regime is deliberately linked to criminal offences specified in the Orders. The regulators have discretion in how to respond to any regulatory breach, and may still prosecute in the criminal courts. But

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