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Successor Local Authorities May Be Liable Under the UK Contaminated Land Regime

The recent decision of the High Court in Price and Hardwicke v Powys County Council determined that a local authority may acquire potential liability under the contaminated land regime (“CLR”) from its statutory predecessor, notwithstanding that the CLR did not enter into force until over 5 years after the transfer of liabilities took place.… Continue Reading

UK Environmental Audit Committee Calls For Brexit Environmental Protection Law

The UK Environmental Audit Committee (a cross-party parliamentary select committee which considers how well government policies and programmes contribute to environmental protection and sustainable development) has published its report on “The Future of the Natural Environment after the EU Referendum”.  The report makes a series of recommendations for actions that the Government should take during … Continue Reading

Launch of UK “Food Crime Confidential” Whistleblower Facility Is Reminder to Food Businesses to Ensure Integrity of Supply Chains

On 28 November 2016, the National Food Crime Unit launched ‘Food Crime Confidential’, which is a phone and email reporting or ‘whistleblowing’ facility. Anyone can use the service, but it is targeted mainly at those working in or around the food industry, to allow them to report suspicions in confidence. Food Crime is defined by … Continue Reading

What Duties Does a UK Employer Have in the Age of Rising Suicides?

In 2012, the UK Government published a strategy entitled “Preventing Suicide in England: A cross-governmental outcomes strategy to save lives”, and two further updates were published in 2014 and 2015.  In 2016, an inquiry was launched by England’s Health Committee to tackle an 8% increase in the suicide rate.  The issue of suicide is important to … Continue Reading

Piercing the Corporate Veil Following Breaches of UK Environmental Permits

The recent Court of Appeal decision in R v Powell and Westwood contains an interesting insight into the extent to which company directors may find themselves personally liable for the cost of remediating contamination which has been caused or knowingly permitted by the companies that they control. It has confirmed that the corporate veil should … Continue Reading

UK Chemicals Regulation Post-Brexit

The British exit from the European Union (Brexit) could significantly impact chemical companies operating within the United Kingdom (UK), depending on the regulatory decisions made by the government.  Post-Brexit, REACH, the European Union’s chemicals regulatory scheme will no longer apply to the UK.  Upon exiting REACH, UK companies exporting to Europe could face substantial extra … Continue Reading

Implications Of The Brexit Vote On UK Environmental Law And Policy

Following a referendum which has polarised the nation, the people of the UK have voted to leave the European Union. Stepping away from the political rhetoric and posturing, it is worth reflecting on some of the more practical issues which will arise from this decision, such as how it could affect our environmental law landscape. … Continue Reading

When Allergens Go Wrong: UK Potential Penalties For Food Adulteration And Breach Of Food Information And Safety Laws

Penalties imposed by the courts in relation to the adulteration of food can be serious. The Guardian and other papers in the UK reported recently that an Indian restaurant owner has been imprisoned for manslaughter following the death of a customer who suffered an allergic reaction (a severe anaphylactic shock) in January 2014 after eating … Continue Reading

Taking The Field – Obligations On Employers Under The New UK Control Of Electromagnetic Fields At Work Regulations 2016

From next month, employers will be required to consider specifically the risks posed to their employees by electromagnetic fields (EMFs). What are EMFs? EMFs occur wherever a piece of electrical or electronic equipment is used, from an electric kettle or lap top computer through to an MRI scanner or satellite dish.  EMFs are likely, therefore, … Continue Reading

UK Fracking – Picking Up Energy or Still on Go Slow?

On 11 April 2016, the Environment Agency granted the necessary environmental permits to allow the UK-based company Third Energy UK Limited to carry out hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” as it has become known, for shale gas at the so-called KM8 Well, an existing borehole in North Yorkshire.  Despite opposition, the Environment Agency maintains that the … Continue Reading

EU CLP Regulation Implementation – what has happened since June 2015?

The latest edition of the British Safety Council’s magazine, Safety Management, features an update article by Anita Lloyd on the implementation of the EU Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) regime for chemicals. June 2015 was the deadline for implementation of EU Regulation 1272/2008 on the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP). Companies in … Continue Reading

UK Sentencing Council: Further Consultation On New Guidelines for Guilty Plea Credit

In the wake of the UK’s more prescriptive approach towards sentencing adopted in the recent Definitive Sentencing Guidelines which came into force on 1 February 2016, the UK Sentencing Council has now turned its focus to the guidelines regarding the credit available for the entering of a guilty plea in criminal cases. The Sentencing Council … Continue Reading

Brexit – What are the implications for UK environmental law and policy?

The topic of the moment in the UK is whether Brexit will be a good or a bad thing for the UK, and it seems to be polarising the nation. Stepping away from the political rhetoric and posturing, it is worth reflecting on some of the more practical issues arising from a UK exit from … Continue Reading

UK Liquor Licensing Law for Insolvency Practitioners

The trading environment for Britain’s pubs has never been tougher. According to the Campaign for Real Ale, 29 pubs close every week in the UK, with pubs selling approximately a third of the number of pints that they used to sell in the late 1970s. Against this backdrop, insolvency practitioners need to be aware of … Continue Reading

Record Fine Imposed For UK Water Pollution Offence – Prevention Less Costly Than Cure?

The record fine of £1m recently handed down to Thames Water Utilities Limited is further evidence (if any were needed) that the Courts are willing impose extremely tough penalties on very large organisations found to have breached environmental regulations. Background Thames Water has an environmental permit to discharge treated sewage from Tring Sewage Treatment Works into … Continue Reading

New Allocation Guidelines in England and Wales Effective 1 March 2016

As England and Wales gear up for the new sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences coming into force on 1 February 2016 – which will drastically change the way health and safety offences are sentenced – companies should also be aware of a new, related legislative development.  On 10 December 2015, a new Allocation Definitive Guideline was published that will affect … Continue Reading

Belgian Chemical Registration Deadline Draws Near for Nanomaterials: 1 January 2016

Contrary to the general opinion, companies established in Belgium have much more extensive obligations than mere compliance with REACH – the European legislation on registration of chemical substances. Indeed, in Belgium a national register for nanomaterials will enter into force on 1st January 2016. This is of significant importance as companies will be required to … Continue Reading

Food Law Enforcement in the UK: Official Statistics 2014/2015 and Database of Prosecutions

Official Statistics 2014/2015  The Food Standards Agency (“FSA”) has today published official statistics for the year 2014/2015 on food law enforcement across the UK, compiled from information given to them by local authorities. The returns from local authorities cover food hygiene (microbiological quality and contamination of food by micro-organisms or foreign matter) and food standards … Continue Reading

New health and safety sentencing guidelines published today – Huge increase in fines in England and Wales expected to follow

The Sentencing Council published draft sentencing guidelines for health and safety, corporate manslaughter and food safety and hygiene offences on 13 November 2014. Following the closure of its consultation period on 18 February 2015, the Sentencing Council has today, 3 November 2015, published the new definitive guidelines along with supporting documents, including the response to … Continue Reading

Risky Business: Health and Safety in the UK Hotel Industry

There have been a significant number of cases reported in the press recently in relation to hotels that are being prosecuted for health and safety breaches. The increased visibility of such cases highlights a need for stronger emphasis on compliance within the industry. The reality of health and safety risks faced by the hotel industry … Continue Reading

UK Judicial Review of Official Veterinarian over Beef Carcase: Food Standards Agency Victory

On 2 July, the Administrative Court ruled in the Food Standard Agency’s (FSA’s) favour over a decision by an FSA veterinary contractor based at a slaughterhouse (following an inspection by a Meat Hygiene Inspector) to declare a beef carcase as unfit for human consumption [i]. The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMs) together with the … Continue Reading
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