Environmental Agency Launches Consultation on Unlimited Fines for Polluters

October 11, 2023
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A new consultation has been launched by the Environmental Agency to explore the possibility of unlimited fines for those who are the worst polluters.

The consultation, which opened on August 15th and runs until October 8th, is seeking views on when penalties should be used, how they should be calculated, and the appeals process.

The consultation considers removing the £250,000 limit on civil penalties for offences and broadening the scope of fines to target a wider range of environmental offences. Additionally, it looks at introducing some additional enforcement powers to help make penalties quicker and easier to enforce. The Environment Agency consultation asks four key questions regarding the proposed changes:

  • Question 1: Is it clear within the enforcement and sanctions policy when we can use variable monetary penalties?
  • Question 2: Is the calculation method clear and easy to understand?
  • Question 3: Do you think that by amending our approach to performing the calculation, we will be able to issue proportionate and fair variable monetary penalties?
  • Question 4: Do you think our current policy on appeals gives enough information and clarity to customers to understand the process?

The Environmental Agency also states that all future environmental fines and penalties from water companies will be put into a new Water Restoration Fund, which will be reinvested back into the environment.

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