Environment Agency launches consultation on unlimited fines for the worst polluters

NewsPolicy

The government’s Environment Agency has launched a consultation on changes to variable monetary penalties – financial penalties that can be imposed for certain environmental offences.

This follows the government announcing that it will lift the current limit of £250,000 that the Environment Agency can impose directly on operators, as well as expanding variable monetary penalties to cover more offences under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016.

This offers regulators a quicker method of enforcement than lengthy and costly criminal prosecutions – although the most serious cases will continue to be taken through criminal proceedings.

The changes will ensure regulators have the right tools to drive compliance across a range of sectors, strengthening enforcement and holding all who hold environmental permits to greater account – from energy and water companies to waste operators and incinerators.


Subscribe to Sustainability Beat for free

Sign up here to get the latest sustainability news sent straight to your inbox every day


All future environmental fines and penalties from water companies will be put into a new Water Restoration Fund, which will be re-invested back into the environment by supporting local groups and community-led schemes.

Environment Agency executive director John Leyland said the fines will act as an “extra tool” to hold polluters to account.

“They will act as a further deterrent – boosting compliance across a range of sectors and helping us provide stronger protection to the environment, communities and nature,” he added.

The consultation will run for eight weeks and will close on 8 October. The consultation seeks views on when penalties are used, how they are calculated and the appeals process.

NewsPolicy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.

RELATED POSTS

Menu

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Sign up for our daily update to get all the latest sustainability news, analysis and opinion direct to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.