The Environment Agency (EA) is the main regulatory body that is responsible for the protection of the environment in England and Wales. Being investigated by the EA for a potential breach of the regulations can have a devastating effect on a businesses reputation and it is therefore vital that expert advice is obtained.
At Lupton Fawcett our team has extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with such matters and a comprehensive understanding of environment related legislation. We are able to deal with a wide variety of matters including:
• Waste management and disposal
• Fly tipping
• Discharges to surface water and groundwater (effluent) permits
• Waste and environmental permits (such as waste carrier license)
• Hazardous waste
Waste management and disposal
Any waste that comes from a commercial activity is business waste and must be disposed of correctly. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) and other relevant UK laws regulate how waste should be managed. The EA will monitor regulated activities and investigate any suspected breaches. The EA may also impose enforcement notices setting out conditions that must be satisfied in order to make a business or activity compliant. If such notices are not adhered to then you could find yourself or your business being prosecuted.
Fly tipping is the illegal disposal of waste and can be from a householder or business. Whilst householders do not require a licence for waste, it is still an offence to dispose waste in a way that is harmful to the environment or for human health. A common example is when waste is simply dumped rather than taken to a tip.
This offence is taken seriously by the EA and if you are contacted and asked to attend an interview under caution then you should seek immediate expert advice.
Your first contact with regards to being investigated may be a letter from the relevant authority inviting you to attend a meeting or an interview under caution. If you receive such a letter it is vital that you contact an expert solicitor to assist you as what you say during that interview may significantly effect the investigation and its outcome.
At Lupton Fawcett we will liaise with the relevant authority prior to the interview to obtain as much detail as possible about the alleged offences so that we can discuss this with you prior to the interview and ensure that you are fully prepared.
By having us as your legal representative you get the benefit of solicitors who understand what is involved in investigations and unlike many firms, are fully conversant with Police Station procedure.
Prosecution and court proceedings
If you or your business is being prosecuted then it is vital that you seek expert advice as soon as possible.
Whether it is chemical spills or other forms of pollution, Lupton Fawcett can advise you on the options open to yourself and your business and our aim is to avoid the negative consequences of being investigated or prosecuted.
Our team works closely with specialist advocates who can be instructed if necessary and we have established relationships with experts in the field to supply expert reports where appropriate.
Speak to a specialist
To speak to an experienced solicitor about concerns regarding environmental obligations, or for legal representation following investigation or prosecution, contact us today using our contact details below.
For immediate assistance please use our 24/7 mobile number 07971 520407.
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