Environmental damage—what does it cover?
Produced in partnership with Begonia Filgueira FIEMA of Acuity Law
Last updated on 22/10/2019

The following Environment practice note produced in partnership with Begonia Filgueira FIEMA of Acuity Law provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Environmental damage—what does it cover?
  • Brexit
  • EU Exit Regulations
  • Environmental damage to land
  • Assessing land damage
  • Step one: substances, preparations and organisms
  • Step two: risk assessment
  • Environmental damage to water
  • Surface water damage
  • What is a body of surface water?
  • More...

Environmental damage—what does it cover?

Environmental damage is damage that attracts liability under the environmental damage regime (EDR) and comes from the Environmental Liability Directive 2004/35/EC. See Practice Note: EU Environmental Liability Directive—snapshot.

The EDR is implemented in England and Wales through the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) (England) Regulations 2015, SI 2015/810, and the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) (Wales) Regulations 2009, SI 2009/995.

The EDR requires operators of activities responsible for serious environmental incidents to prevent and remedy the damage. See Practice Notes:

  1. Environmental damage regulations—overview

  2. Environmental damage—when does the environmental damage regime apply?

  3. Environmental damage—potential liabilities

  4. Environmental damage—operators’ obligations, enforcement, offences and appeals

Environmental damage includes damage to:

  1. land

  2. water, including marine waters

  3. protected species and natural habitats

  4. sites of special scientific interest (SSSI)

Brexit

11 pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marked the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements came to an end and significant changes began to take effect across the UK’s legal regime.

EU Exit Regulations

The Environment (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/458 make amendments to ensure the continued functioning of the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2009, SI 2015/810 following the implementation period completion date.

The Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) (Wales) (Amendment)

Related documents:
Key definition:
Remediation definition
What does Remediation mean?

A general term for providing a remedy. Environmental remediation deals with the removal of pollution or contaminants from soil, groundwater, sediment or surface water etc. for the general protection of human health and the environment.

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