Environmental damage—Summary of enforcement options
Environmental damage—Summary of enforcement options

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

  • Environmental damage offences
  • Enforcement options in England under the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2015
  • Enforcement options in Wales under the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) (Wales) Regulations 2009

The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales have published ‘Offence Response Options’ guidance which sets out the available means of enforcement for offences falling within their regulatory remit. The Offence Response Options clearly set out, for each offence, the range of possible enforcement options available to the regulators from a warning, to prosecution, to civil sanctions. It is therefore a useful guide to practitioners whose clients are being investigated for environmental offences.

Environmental damage offences

The Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) (England) Regulations 2015, SI 2015/810 impose duties on a person whose operations cause in England, an imminent threat or give reasonable grounds for believing that they will lead to environmental damage. The equivalent regulations in Wales are the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) (Wales) Regulations 2009, SI 2009/995 and the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2015, SI 2015/1394. For information on the scope and purpose of these regulations see Practice Notes: Environmental damage—when does the environmental damage regime apply? and Environmental damage—operators’ obligations, enforcement, offences and appeals.

Environmental damage which occurred in England prior to 19 July 2015 is regulated by the now revoked Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2009, SI 2009/153 yet any enforcement action may still be taken under the 2009 regulations.

Environmental damage which occurred in England on or after 19 July 2015 is

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