Environment Agency civil sanctions limited

7th December 2012


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  • Environment agencies

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IEMA

Business minister Michael Fallon has confirmed that fixed- and variable-monetary penalties, and restoration notices will, as a general rule, only be made in future against undertakings with more than 250 employees

Fallon explained that small- and medium-sized enterprises are often less equipped than larger companies to challenge the basis for such sanctions. There will be no restriction on powers to impose enforcement undertakings, stop notices or compliance notices, however.

Civil sanctions where made available to regulators like the Environment Agency by the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 as an alternative to costly criminal prosecutions. The agency started to levy civil sanctions in January 2011 and reported that it had raised more than £200,000 in the first year of the regime.

London-based engineering company Invensys was the first to avoid a criminal prosecution under the arrangements after it agreed with the agency in July 2011 to pay £21,000 towards environment improvement projects. The firm had reported breaches of the Producer Responsibility Obligations Packaging Waste Regulations.

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