Environmental Liability

Environmental Liability

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Environmental Liability

In 2009, major changes to legislation came into force for environmental impairment. These changes mean every business is now at risk of prosecution if they cause damage to the environment.

Damage to the environment encompasses a wide range of environmental impairments, including pollution of land, water, air and biodiversity damage (i.e. damage to protected species and habitats).

Damage can be the result of an obvious sudden incident such as an explosion or from a gradual cause such as a leaking underground pipe.

Environmental damage can lead to other problems such as illness from drinking contaminated water or breathing contaminated air; property damage to cars showered with corrosive chemicals; or “amenity” issues for those that have to live in the changes environment.

Businesses are responsible for ensuring they undertake practices to minimise the likelihood of causing such damage whilst carrying out their operations and can be held responsible for all clean-up costs if their measures fail.

A standalone environmental liability policy is designed to cover the widest possible range of environmental liabilities.


The hidden costs of Environmental Pollution

In the majority of cases, only the court fine is made public. In almost every case there are additional “hidden costs” involved  in returning the polluted area back to pre-incident levels.

For example;

A UK water company was fined £15,000 for polluting a river. However they also had to pay the bill for:

Fine £15,000
Tankering away the chemical £32,600
Plugging the leak £8,300
An initial fish survey £6,000
Installing new equipment to detect a leak £60,000
EA attendance charges £2,271
Further fish surveys reserve £20,000
Restocking the stretch of river £63,500
Prosecution Costs £3,493
Total £211,164

It is important to remember environmental liability risks can be costly to handle and time consuming to deal with in the short, medium and long term. Preventive measures and financial protection policies are an essential part of any organisations’ management plans.

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Pace Ward Limited & Pace Ward Financial Solutions Ltd

6 Ridge House, Ridgehouse Drive, Festival Park, Stoke on Trent, ST1 5SJ

Tel: 01782 286311

Pace Ward Limited are Independent Insurance Brokers who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. A member of the Compass Network. Pace Ward Ltd Registered Office - 6 Ridge House, Ridgehouse Drive, Stoke on Trent, ST1 5SJ - Registered in England & Wales Number 4812481

Pace Ward Financial Solutions Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Pace Ward Financial Solutions Ltd Registered Office - 6 Ridge House, Ridgehouse Drive, Stoke on Trent, ST1 5SJ - Registered in England & Wales Number 4812481