Environmental civil sanctions—restoration notices
Environmental civil sanctions—restoration notices

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

  • Environmental civil sanctions—restoration notices
  • Procedure

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. Natural England 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.

Restoration notices require the offender to take steps to put right any damage caused as a result of non-compliance with a statutory obligation and address any harm. They can be used where damage has been caused to the environment and the action and work needed to address the damage can be identified and carried out by the offender. They may be used where restoration has not been undertaken voluntarily or where the