Environmental civil sanctions—enforcement undertakings
Environmental civil sanctions—enforcement undertakings

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

  • Environmental civil sanctions—enforcement undertakings
  • Brexit impact
  • What is an enforcement undertaking?
  • Enforcement undertaking procedure
  • Public register
  • Failure to comply
  • Completion certificate
  • EA—enforcement and sanctions policy
  • Environmental enforcement undertakings—tracker

Reviewed by Professor Richard Macrory.

Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 (RESA 2008) enables regulators to be given powers to deal with offences using six new civil sanctions, instead of prosecuting. In 2010, powers were given to the Environment Agency (EA) and Natural England (NE) for a number of environmental offences.

In 2015, the scope of civil sanctions was extended when the EA was given power to accept enforcement undertakings in respect of environmental permitting offences.

The Environmental Civil Sanctions (England) Order 2010, SI 2010/1157 applies in England and the Environmental Civil Sanctions (Wales) Order 2010, SI 2010/1821 applies in Wales. Schedule 5 of both regulations specifies which sanctions are available for each offence.

The EA began using its powers on 4 January 2011. Initially, the EA anticipated using civil sanctions mainly in the water resources and packaging waste sectors for offences committed in England after 6 April 2010 and in Wales after 15 July 2010. NE started using its powers from 3 January 2012.

From 1 April 2013, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has been responsible for enforcing environmental civil sanctions in Wales.

Brexit impact

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on

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