In order to try and combat the ever increasing blight on the landscape created by illegal waste sites and associated criminal activity, the Environment Agency has been granted increased powers.
The powers came into operation on 29th March 2018 and Environment Minister Therese Coffey commented:
‘These new powers will give the Environment Agency the tools they need to curb the rise of waste sites that continue to break the law and blight our communities’.
John Veale of Kangs Solicitors outlines the position.
The Regime | Kangs National Environment Law Team
Waste management sites are governed by the Environmental Permitting Regulations (‘the Regulations’) that impose a system of permits and exemptions regulating the legal operation of a waste site (‘a site’).
A site cannot be operated without a permit which may specify such restrictions as:
- the nature and tonnage of waste allowed to be deposited.
- the specific location on the site where particular waste must be deposited.
- the manner in which waste is processed and sorted.
Breaches Of The Regulations | Kangs Regulatory Defence Solicitors
Offences which commonly lead to prosecution include:
- operating a site without a permit.
- operating a site in breach of restrictions imposed by a permit or exemption.
- illegal dumping of waste at unauthorized locations.
The New Powers | Kangs Environment Law Advisory Team
The new regulations include:
- power to immediately lock up a site
- authority to order the clean-up of not just illegal waste, but all waste from a site.
- the provision of bodycams to be worn by Environment Agency officers enabling them to record any offences including those stemming from abuse or violence which they encounter.
Referring to such violence, Paul Whitehill, Environment Agency Waste Officer said:
‘As a former police officer, I’ve seen routine visits rapidly escalate into threatening, or sometimes even violent, situations. Sadly, the same risks apply to the Environment Agency’s officers’.
How Can We Assist ? | Kangs National Regulatory Defence Solicitors
A sample of recent cases we have dealt with include:
- Environment Agency Prosecution & Confiscation Proceedings
- Another Happy Client | Kangs Environment Agency Solicitors
The financial consequences of a conviction can be significant to a company, directors and, on occasion, even the owners of the land upon which the illegal activity is conducted.
Experienced support and advice is necessary from the outset and we would encourage you to contact any one of the following who will be pleased to assist you: