The following Restructuring & Insolvency guidance note Produced in partnership with Simon Thomas and Emma Collins of Addleshaw Goddard provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
There are three main sources of environmental law that an insolvency practitioner (IP) should be aware of and which may result in personal liability for the IP. These are:
contaminated land legislation (the Contaminated Land Regime)
other regulatory regimes (expanded below), and
third party civil claims
Local authorities have a duty under the Part 2A of Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990) to:
investigate their areas for the presence of contamination
identify contaminated land, and
require clean-up where appropriate
If the authority identifies contaminated land, liability for cleaning up the contamination rests initially with Class A persons. This can be:
the original or subsequent polluter—Class A ‘causers’, or
any persons who knowingly permit contamination—Class A ‘knowing permitters’ (ie someone who is aware of contamination and who is in a position to do something about it but fails to do so—for example, if an IP is aware that oil drums stored on a property are leaking into the ground and fails to take steps to address the problem)
If no Class A persons can be found, the Class B owner or occupier would be liable.
IPs have statutory protection from liability under the Contaminated Land Regime unless the remediation is referable to an ‘unreasonable act or omission by the IP personally’.
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