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Introduction to this document

Environmental incident investigation policy and procedure

Although no business sets out to cause accidental pollution, unfortunately, it happens all too often. So if you suspect that you’ve allowed a substance to pollute, you need to find the source, identify how it was able to pollute and take steps to prevent a reoccurrence.

Legal position

The principal legislation concerning the control of environmental incidents and pollution prevention is the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999. In addition to identifying the procedures and licensing requirements for discharges, emissions and waste disposal, the Acts outline the requirements for integrated pollution and prevention and the principle of “the polluter pays”. Therefore, failing to comply with the requirements of the Acts and allowing an environmental or pollution incident to occur could result in your organisation paying large fines and footing the bill for the cost of the clean up.

Investigation of environmental incidents

If you are unfortunate enough to suffer an environmental incident, you need to know what action to take. To help you and your staff take the correct action, why not use our Environmental Incident Investigation Policy and Procedure. Our document outlines what constitutes an environmental incident, how your business can manage it, and how to minimise the potential environmental impact. As with any policy, you need to ensure that you comply with it; the enforcement agencies will always evaluate what you have actually done, against what you say you will do in the policy.