Under lock-down, council waste recycling centres have been closed and fly tipping has reportedly increased by up to 300% in rural areas and 80% overall. Whether you are a householder or run a business the consequences of fly-tipping can be very serious.
Illegal disposal of waste is governed by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as amended (the Act).
What the Act States | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
Under section 33 of the Act a person shall not:
- Deposit controlled waste (household, commercial or industrial).
- Knowingly, cause/permit controlled waste to be deposited in or on any land without an environmental permit.
- Submit controlled waste/knowingly cause or permit controlled waste to be submitted to any listed operation that is not being conducted in accordance with an environmental permit.
- Treat, keep or dispose of controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health.
- Where a person who controls or is in a position to control the use of a vehicle in which waste is carried and deposited from, shall, for the purposes of depositing controlled waste, be treated as knowingly causing that deposit whether or not they gave instructions for this to be done.
Defences | Kangs Environment Agency Defence Solicitors
It is a defence if the person charged can prove:
- that they took all reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence to avoid the commission of the offence; or
- the acts alleged were done in an emergency to avoid danger to human health in a case where;
- all steps were taken as were reasonably practicable in the circumstances for minimising pollution of the environment and harm to human health; and
- particulars of the acts were furnished to the authorities as soon as reasonably practicable after they were done.
Penalties | Kangs Waste Management Solicitors
Upon summary conviction, the convicted person can receive a maximum prison sentence of 12 months and or a fine. If convicted on indictment the maximum prison sentence is 5 years and or a fine.
Whereas a private individual cannot be prosecuted in relation to household waste from a domestic property which is treated , kept or disposed of within the curtilage of the property, they can be prosecuted if they treat , keep or dispose of controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health. Upon both summary conviction and conviction on indictment, they can receive a fine.
How Can We Assist? | Kangs Environment Agency Solicitors
Whether you are being investigated by the Environment Agency or the local authority, it is essential that you seek legal advice immediately.
Convictions for offences of this nature can have very serious consequences. As well as a large fine or lengthy prison sentence, the Courts have the power to order seizure of vehicles and payment of all costs associated with clearing up the consequences of the offending behaviour.
Please do not hesitate to contact: