We encourage individuals and businesses to put the environment first and to combine good environmental practices with normal working methods.
We offer information and advice to those we regulate to help cut down on unnecessary paperwork and cost.
The aim of enforcement is to make sure business and industry take appropriate action to protect the environment, make sure regulations which prevent pollution are complied with and secure better outcomes for the environment, people and business.
We may decide to enforce when any of the following occur:
- an incident
- breach of the conditions of a permitted activity
- non-compliance with legislation
We will use the enforcement options available to us to achieve environmental outcomes and more specifically to:
- stop offending
- restore and/or remediate
- bring under regulatory control
- punish and/or deter
The enforcement powers available to us include:
- enforcement notices and works notices (where contravention can be prevented or needs to be remedied)
- prohibition notices (where there is an imminent risk of serious environmental damage)
- suspension or revocation of environmental permits and licences
- variation of permit conditions
- carrying out remedial works (where we carry out remedial works we will seek to recover the full costs incurred from those responsible)
- criminal sanctions, including prosecution
- civil sanctions, including financial penalties
Civil sanctions provide us with new ways to protect the environment and we have been using them since 4 January 2011. Find out more about civil sanctions:
The Enforcement and Sanctions - Statement (ESS) is a high-level view of our approach to enforcement:
The Enforcement and Sanctions - Guidance (ESG) outlines our approach to decision-making and includes our Variable Monetary Penalty methodology and information on Enforcement Undertakings:
The Enforcement and Sanctions - Offence Response Options (ORO) document lists the sanctions and responses available for the offences we regulate: