The Environment Agency (EA) is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). It is responsible for creating a better environment for people and wildlife.
The EA’s investigatory and enforcement powers are wide-ranging and compliance is now more important than ever. This is because from 1 July 2014, new 'Definitive Guidelines' published by the Sentencing Council (the guidelines) will apply for the sentencing of various environmental offences in the Magistrate and Crown Courts, irrespective of when the offence was committed.
The range of fines has been increased to reflect an offender's ability to pay. The aim is to ensure fines have a real economic impact and provide a stronger deterrent from re-offending. The guidelines continue the trend set in recent case law of imposing significant corporate fines for environmental offences.
Our Business Crime Team have successfully defended businesses facing prosecution for many environmental offences including:
- unauthorised or harmful deposit, treatment or disposal of waste
- illegal discharge to air, land and water
- breach of the duty of care in relation to waste
- breach of the legislation relating to the transportation of waste
- breach of an abatement notice relating to nuisance
Should you or your business become involved in an environmental prosecution we think creatively about all options available. We recognize that the best results can often be achieved by negotiation with the EA. This may avoid prosecution altogether.
Where there is no scope for negotiation we have many years experience successfully defending our clients from environmental prosecution. We can help you if:
- you have been arrested or your business has been subject to a ‘dawn raid’
- the EA want to speak with you or interview you about an investigation
- you think you may be prosecuted for an environmental offence
- you have been charged with an environmental offence.
Whether for you personally or for your business and regardless of the issues, we will take pride in fiercely guarding your interests and protecting you.