Thirty charities will receive more than £1.5 million for projects benefiting wildlife and the environment as a result of enforcement action by the Environment Agency. There are twenty-six Enforcement Undertakings on the list with payments ranging from £1,500 – £375,000, including six which are of six figures. 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. The Agency is increasingly using this method of enforcement for suitable cases to swiftly restore the environment, improve practices of the offending company and avoid longer criminal court cases. However prosecutions will still be taken, particularly in the most serious cases.