DEFRA meeting on the agenda

08 Apr 2015

BLM solicitor and Chair of the Environmental Litigation Working Party for UKELA, Jill Crawford is meeting with a small number of fellow members and representatives from DEFRA to discuss government guidance on the use of enforcement undertakings, which are a new civil sanction tool that came into force on 6 April 2015 following an amendment to the Environmental Permitting Regulations.

The effect is that the Environment Agency, instead of prosecuting businesses for offences committed under the Environmental Permitting Regulations, can now accept enforcement undertakings from business operators who pledge to undertake certain actions to deal with the environmental impact of the offence, including environmental improvements due to voluntary restorative action thereby avoiding the need for costly, resource intensive legal proceedings.

The Environmental Litigation Working Party has been pressing government for some time for civil sanctions to be made available for environmental permitting offences, through writing to Ministers and making representations to policy officials at DEFRA.

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Disclaimer: This document does not present a complete or comprehensive statement of the law, nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight issues that may be of interest to clients of BLM. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in any particular case.

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