Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
If you cause environmental damage under the environmental liability regime you may be responsible for remedying the damage. See the page in this guideline: What is environmental damage?
The Environmental Liability Regulations can be enforced by a number of organisations.
In Northern Ireland
Your local council is the enforcing body for damage, or risk of damage, to land. It is also the enforcing body for damage you cause carrying out activities covered by a pollution prevention and control permit it issued.
The NIEA is the enforcing body for damage, or risk of damage, to land, water and biodiversity.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is the enforcing body for damage or risk of damage, to the water environment or land.
Scottish Natural Heritage is the enforcing body for damage, or risk of damage, to protected species and habitats in the non-marine environment.
Marine Scotland is the enforcing body for damage, or risk of damage, to protected species and natural habitats in the marine environment and marine waters.
If your activities cause environmental damage you must:
People who may be affected by possible damage can also report damage:
Remediation of environmental damage means returning the environment as a whole to the condition it would have been in if the damage had not occurred.
Remediation must include primary remediation, which is work to repair the damaged site itself. If the primary remediation does not fully restore the damaged site then you may also need to carry out compensatory and complementary remediation.
Compensatory remediation is work to offset the loss of natural resources from the time you caused the damage to the time you fully remediate the damaged site.
Complementary remediation is additional work, possibly at another site, if the site you damaged cannot be completely restored. It is carried out to compensate for when primary remediation does not fully restore the damaged site.
In Northern Ireland
If the NIEA decides you have caused environmental damage, you must draw up remediation proposals and submit them for approval. If you don't do this the NIEA can issue a remediation notice requiring you to submit remediation proposals. Once the NIEA has decided which remediation proposals should be implemented you must implement them.
If the enforcing body decides you have caused environmental damage, you must draw up remediation proposals and submit them for approval. If you don't do this the enforcing body can issue a requirement for you to submit remediation proposals. Once the enforcing body has decided which remediation proposals should be implemented you must implement them.
You can appeal against a requirement to submit remediation proposals within 28 days of it being served on you.
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Read more on the DAERA website
The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics
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