Environmental civil sanctions—stop notices
Environmental civil sanctions—stop notices

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

  • Environmental civil sanctions—stop notices
  • What is a stop notice?
  • Stop notice 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. For example, stop notices are available in respect of offences under Environmental Protection Act 1990, s 33(6) (waste offences) but not those under s 71(3) (information offences).

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.

What is a stop notice?

A stop notice requires an immediate stop to an activity that is causing serious harm or presents a significant risk of causing serious harm until the person has taken the steps specified in the notice.

Stop notice procedure