Guide

Pollution incidents and environmental damage

Introduction

Your business could cause pollution by accidentally or deliberately releasing a substance that may damage the water environment, cause air pollution and land contamination and harm wildlife or people.

Pollutants are not just hazardous substances like chemicals. Substances such as food and drink products like milk, and surface water run-off containing oil and fuel or suspended solids could cause pollution.

If you handle or store hazardous or polluting substances you should take precautions to prevent accidents and reduce the effects of potential pollution.

If there is a risk that your site may cause a pollution incident you can be forced to take action to remove the risk. If you do cause serious pollution you may have to pay to remedy the damage.

This guide gives an overview of what environmental damage is and how the Environmental Liability Regulations could affect you and your business. It covers what action can be taken if you fail to remove a risk of pollution, or actually cause a pollution incident. It also introduces pollution incident response plans and how you can help prevent pollution from your business activities.