The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
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. 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.
Fixed monetary penalties are available only for a minority of the offences listed in Schedule 5. They cannot, for example, be used in respect of offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990), s 33(6) (waste offences) or s 71(3) (information offences), but they are available in respect of notification breaches in respect of trade effluent consent applications under Water Industry Act 1991, ss 120, 130.
The Order specifies a penalty of £100 for individuals and £300 for corporate bodies.
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