The prosecution of environmental offences are on the increase and the powers that the prosecuting authorities have been given to enforce environmental protection laws are often greater than the police.
We have significant experience in defending cases brought against individuals and companies by the Environment Agency using the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Our bespoke defence team utilises specialist barristers in order to protect companies, company directors and individuals form the consequences of prosecution. We are also able to liaise on your behalf if an investigation is underway with a view to preventing any subsequent prosecution.
This year we successfully represented a company director accused of exporting waste tyres in breach of international conventions. The case involved complex issues of international law and the interpretation of EU directives, we utilised our experience of criminal trials to challenge the evidence and it was dropped before any witnesses were called. We have also defended in case relating to the handling of asbestos during demolition work on an old school building in Bristol.
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Waste Management Law
We have recently successfully defended clients accused of waste management offences and operating without an environmental permit when they were engaged in waste recovery operations. Despite their best intentions to produce an environmentally sound product from waste destined for land-fill they were prosecuted by the Environment Agency.
Our specialist knowledge of the law surrounding recovery of waste demonstrated that the Environment Agency had little idea as to the legal definition of "waste" or what would amount to recovery of waste. Our client was found not guilty when the Judge threw the case out.