The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 enables regulators to be given powers to deal with offences using civil sanctions, including environmental enforcement undertakings (EUs), instead of commencing a criminal prosecution. The Environment Agency (EA), Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Natural England (NE) have the power to impose enforcement undertakings in relation to a number of environmental offences.
An EU is a written undertaking to take actions within a specified period:
to secure the offence does not continue or recur
to restore the position so far as possible to what it would have been had the offences not been committed
to benefit a third party (including, where appropriate, a money payment), or
to secure equivalent benefit or improvement to the environment, where it is not possible to restore the harm caused
Those who breach environmental regulation can, where an EU is available for the particular offence, set out how they propose to put the matter right and submit their proposal to their environmental regulator. If the regulator accepts their proposals, the EU becomes a legally binding voluntary agreement.
For more information on environmental EUs, see Practice Note: Environmental civil sanctions—enforcement undertakings.
For more information on other types of environmental civil sanctions, see Practice Notes:
Environmental civil sanctions—enforcement bodies and outline of sanctions
Environmental civil sanctions—fixed monetary penalties
Environmental civil sanctions—variable monetary penalties
Environmental civil sanctions—compliance notices
Environmental civil sanctions—restoration notices
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