Environmental insurance—chemical sites
Produced in partnership with EDIA Environmental Insurance
Environmental insurance—chemical sites

The following Environment guidance note Produced in partnership with EDIA Environmental Insurance provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Environmental insurance—chemical sites
  • Brexit impact
  • Chemical sites in the UK
  • Potential environmental liabilities associated with chemical works
  • Legislation that applies to environmental damage caused by chemical sites
  • Insurance for environmental damage caused by chemical sites
  • Coverage for pollution
  • Considerations for the purchase and sale of permitted chemical sites
  • Considerations for closed chemical sites that were subject to a permit
  • Considerations for closed chemical sites that pre-date the permitting regime
  • more

Brexit impact

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this content.

For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—impact on environmental law and News Analysis: Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.

Chemical sites in the UK

There are a significant number of operational and no longer operational chemical sites in the UK. In the vast majority of cases, these properties are located in areas of industrial development. However, this does not mean that the surrounding environment is not sensitive—sites located in the North East along rivers like the Tyne are adjacent to mud flats that have been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Older chemical sites have often been developed, and those located near the centre of towns and cities may have been developed for residential end use.

Potential environmental liabilities associated with chemical works

Operational chemical sites have the potential to cause environmental damage from their bulk liquid storage and processing areas or waste stream—particularly associated with their drainage system. In addition, fires at these facilities have potential to cause significant damage, for example the 2011 Chemie Pack