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Enforcement Undertakings and the Ribble Catchment

In 2014 the government allowed the Environment Agency access to powers to apply civil penalties, known as “Civil Sanctions”.  The majority of civil sanctions applied have been “Enforcement Undertakings”.  These are voluntarily offered by businesses that have breached environmental regulations.  It enables the Environment Agency to decide whether or not to prosecute the business for the breach.  The primary purpose of enforcement undertakings is to allow the offender to restore and remediate environmental damage they have caused.

Ribble Rivers Trust supports enforcement undertakings as they seek to restore and remediate environmental damage locally.  Where prosecutions occur, the associated fines do not guarantee in funding being made available local to where the offence occurred.  As a result restoration and remediation doesn’t occur.

If you are responsible for an offence, and/or pollution incident it is essential that you act quickly.  Report it immediately to the Environment Agency, and cease the activity resulting in the offence and/or pollution to minimise the impact.  The sooner this occurs you may be able to avoid the risk of prosecution.  As well as to avoid the the associated reputational harm, legal costs, fines, increased insurance costs and risk to future contracts/business.

How we might help

Ribble Rivers Trust has historically delivered enforcement undertakings for restoration and remediation activities, and continues to be well placed to do so.  The Trust has a team of staff who have experience in delivering a range of environmental activities.  Including river and stream restoration, and woodland and wetland projects (in both rural and urban settings).  We work across the rivers Ribble, Hodder, Calder, Darwen and all of their tributaries.  We are able to offer specialist advice, guidance and assistance to businesses and individuals to ensure that the best outcomes occur from any environmental offence.

For more detail on civil sanctions and enforcement actions you can read the Environment Agency guidance here (including a link to Enforcement undertaking offer form): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/environment-agency-enforcement-and-sanctions-statement

If you would like to discuss Enforcement Undertakings in the Ribble Catchment (or any of its tributaries) please contact the Trust via our contact page.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance- please read

Please note that, following Government guidelines and the fact UK Chief Medical Officers have now raised the Coronavirus (COVID-19) risk to the UK from moderate to high, Ribble Rivers Trust are taking precautions, and making changes to our day to day operations.

Some Ribble Rivers Trust staff are now working from home. If you wish to speak to a specific member of staff and you know their mobile phone number or email address please contact them in this way. Otherwise please contact us in the usual way.

Volunteer event cancellations

Dear volunteers,

It is with regret that we announce that we are postponing all volunteer activity with Ribble Rivers Trust. We know there are many benefits to volunteering, including the positive boost to mental and physical health, the chance to meet others and contribute positively to your local area. However, given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the most recent Government advice – asking everybody in the UK to stay at home and only go out for essentials such as food and medicine – we feel that continuing to include volunteers in the limited work we are able to do now would put people at unnecessary risk and be irresponsible. We all want to improve and protect our environment and rivers, but to do that we need to stay healthy and this must be our priority for the time being. We will continue to keep you up to date with the work we are able to do and will organise new volunteer days as soon as we possibly can. Please stay connected with us over the coming weeks and keep yourselves safe and well.

Refer to gov.uk/coronavirus for up to date information and guidance.

We will come through this and our environment and rivers will still need you, let’s make sure we’re all ready for it when the time comes.

Yours faithfully,

Jack Spees.