The government has published a definitive guide on how to determine sentences for environmental offences, including fines of up to £3 million.
This is the first time a guideline has been produced for these offences. It covers offences like fly-tipping and waste crimes such as illegal waste handling or disposal offences.
The new guidelines will come into effect on 1st July.
“The new Sentencing Council Guidelines for Environmental Offences completely changes the face of environmental regulation,” said Simon Colvin, environmental partner at national law firm Weightmans LLP.
“The new guidelines are likely to result in a greater focus on environmental compliance at boardroom level since the downsides of getting it wrong are so significant, and prolonged and hard fought environmental cases since the consequences of being found guilty and the scope of the offences are so much more significant.”