Waste, water pollution & permits

Environmental law is complex and constantly changing, businesses must negotiate their way through this plethora of legislation to ensure they operate lawfully. Breaches can be costly both in terms of financial penalties and adverse publicity so it is important that businesses are pro-active in seeking advice, and respond quickly in the event of an incident.

We have a team of experienced environmental experts who can give you practical, clear guidance and find the best solution for you. We will take time to understand your business and the issues you are facing and can pro-actively advise so that you're aware of and compliant with, all relevant environmental legislation. 

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Why choose Stephensons?

If your business operations could potentially impact upon the environment then an environmental permit must be obtained from the regulator (local authority or environment agency). We can assist you in applying for a permit, or applying to vary an existing permit, and ensure that any operating conditions are reasonable. We can also assist if your company is facing action by the regulator for breach of permit conditions or unpermitted activities.

Even the best run business can inadvertently breach environmental legislation and the prospect of investigation or prosecution. This may be simply due to an accident which results in pollution to a local watercourse or due to a lack of knowledge of complex, poorly publicised, regulations. A good example of this is the Producer Responsibility Obligations (packaging waste) which, despite being almost 20 years old, many companies to whom they apply are blissfully unaware, that is... until they receive a visit from the Environment Agency.

A member of our expert team previously prosecuted on behalf of the Environment Agency so has an in-depth knowledge of how these cases are investigated and prosecuted. Often, due to respected relationships with regulators, we can ensure that the investigation does not proceed to prosecution. If prosecution is unavoidable we will explore any potential defence or weakness in the evidence and ensure the financial and reputational impact on the company and directors is minimised.

Our expertise includes:

  • Waste regulation, exemptions and permits
  • Regulation of waste facilities such as landfill sites, waste transfer stations, and composting producers
  • Water pollution incidents including cases where there has been a significant fish kill
  • Compliance with Producer Responsibility legislation
  • Action for breaches of trade effluent discharge consents
  • Application for environmental permits (Part A and Part B) and defending court proceedings for breach of permit conditions
  • Applications for confiscation orders under the proceeds of crime where more serious offences are alleged

To speak to a member of our specialist team in relation to a waste, water pollution or permits issue call us without obligation on 0203 816 9274 or complete our online enquiry

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As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.