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  • International Workplace
  • 16 February 2017
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Charities receive £1.5m from environmental law-breaking businesses

Companies that break environmental laws – either by polluting rivers, breaching permit conditions designed to protect communities or avoiding recycling – will contribute to a £1.5m payout to a range of charities, following enforcement action by the Environment Agency.

The money will be spent by local groups on projects that will make a direct positive impact on the environment. There are 26 Enforcement Undertakings on the new list with payments ranging from £1,500 – £375,000, including six companies that have agreed to make six-figure payments.

As well as making a suitable payment to an appropriate environmental charity, each company has accepted liability, demonstrated restoration of harm and invested to reduce the risk of similar breaches occurring in future.

The Environment Agency’s ability to accept Enforcement Undertakings was extended in 2015 to a far wider range of offences. However, prosecutions will still be taken, particularly in the most serious cases.

Peter Kellett, Legal Director for the Environment Agency, said:

“We take pollution incidents very seriously and the payments of £1.5m we’re announcing are the result of our firm but fair enforcement action and will benefit people and the environment across the country.

“Enforcement Undertakings allow those who commit offences to restore the environment and to take steps to prevent a recurrence. When appropriate, they allow a quicker resolution than a prosecution and help offenders who are prepared to take responsibility for their actions to put things right with their local communities.”