In 2015, the EA prosecuted 54 waste firms for breaching permit regulations
The Environment Agency has recently released new figures for the previous year which show there was an increase in the number of prosecutions against waste firms in 2015, despite an overall decline in the number of prosecutions for environment offences.
According to the official figures, released by the Environment Agency (EA) on September 22, a total of 54 England-based waste companies were prosecuted for waste offences in 2015. This is compared to 37 prosecutions in 2014.
However, the number of prosecutions against waste firms for environment offences fell again this year by 14%, with a total of 70 prosecutions recorded. This figure has been decreasing every year since 2007, when there was 300 prosecutions brought against waste companies.
Perhaps more alarmingly, the figures from April 2015 and March 2016 also reveal that the EA closed down just under 1,000 waste sites which were operating illegally. This figure is double that from both 2014/15 and 2012/14, combined!
This would suggest that there is an increasing demand for illegal waste operations, which coincides with a nationwide fly-tipping epidemic.
The waste firms prosecuted in 2015 were fined 7% more than in previous years. The fines ordered to be paid as a result of successful prosecutions in 2015 totalled £707,000. A rise from £324,000 in 2014.
The EA has issued over 11,000 Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR) permits to firms working within the waste industry.
In the report ‘Regulating the waste industry’, the EA said: “We issued over 200 enforcement notices to companies involved in waste activities in 2015. Almost 90% of these were to companies that we permit.”
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