Tag Archives: Environmental Crime

Left In The Lurch – Another UK Landlord Convicted Following Tenant’s Unlawful Waste Operations

Recent caselaw demonstrates that regulators are prepared to prosecute landlords as a direct result of their tenants’ unlawful waste operations. Landlords should consider this possibility when negotiating with prospective tenants and put in place reasonable safeguards to protect themselves. However, victims of fly-tipping may potentially face a similar risk of prosecution against which such safeguards … 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

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

US Departments of Justice and Labor To Increase Criminal Prosecutions of Worker Safety Laws

On December 17, 2015, the US Departments of Labor (“DOL”) and Justice (“DOJ”) signed a memorandum of understanding in an effort to more effectively prosecute workplace safety crimes under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSH Act”), the Mine Safety and Health Act (“Mine Act”), and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (“MSPA”).  … Continue Reading

Reforming the offence of Public Nuisance

Introduction Five years after originally consulting the public, the Law Commission has recently published its report on reforming the common law criminal offences of public nuisance and outraging public decency.  This note focuses on the proposed reforms to the offence of public nuisance. Public nuisance is unusual in so far as it is both a … Continue Reading

Ohio Aims to Boost Criminal Penalties for State Water Pollution Violations

Ohio Governor Kasich’s recently-introduced Mid-Biennium Budget Review Environment bill (HB 490) would revise R.C. § 6111.99 to significantly increase criminal penalties for violations of Ohio’s water pollution laws. Under current Ohio law, certain criminal violations of Ohio’s water pollution laws, such as water pollution acts, falsification of data, or criminal violations of orders, rules or permits … Continue Reading

UK Sentencing Council Definitive Guidelines for Environmental Offences – The Shape of Things to Come?

The recent decision in R v Southern Water Services Limited (2014) has seen the Court of Appeal take a very firm stance against a utilities provider, upholding a fine of £200,000 following a conviction under regulation 38 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 (the ‘2010 Regulations’) for discharging untreated sewage into the … Continue Reading

UK Sentencing Guidance For Environmental Crime – A Qualified Welcome

There has long been a concern about the lack of guidance available to the courts in the UK (especially, magistrates’ courts) when it comes to sentencing for environmental offences, in comparison to other crimes (such as theft or assault).  This has meant that similar examples of environmental wrongdoing have received greatly varying levels of fines … Continue Reading
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