Enforcement and sanctions policy

Closed 29 Jan 2018

Opened 28 Nov 2017

Results Updated 24 Nov 2017

Only answers from respondents who gave permission are published. However, all responses are included in the analysis of this consultation.

We'd like to remind you that the responses published below are the views of the individuals and organisations who have responded to the consultation and don't necessarily reflect those of the Environment Agency.


The Environment Agency released the latest version of its Enforcement and Sanctions Guidance (ESG) in March 2015. There are a number of reasons why the Environment Agency's approach to enforcement and sanctions should be updated, including new government policies that we need to take account of.

The revised ESG (now Enforcement and sanctions policy) can be found in the ‘Related Documents’ section, along with the consultation paper which sets out where we are proposing amendments to our current approach and what we propose should remain unchanged.

Why We Are Consulting

We are consulting on proposed changes to our Enforcement and Sanctions Statement (ESS) and Enforcement and Sanctions Guidance (ESG) documents to seek views on the significant areas of change.

The ESS and ESG documents were first published in January 2011. This followed a substantial review and a full public consultation exercise. The present version of the ESG was published in March 2015 to accommodate, amongst other minor amendments, the change of the Regulators’ Compliance Code to the Regulators’ Code.

The ESS and ESG have now been combined into one document, the Enforcement and sanctions policy (ESP).


What happens next

Over the next few months we will be using the responses to this consultation to help develop and finalise the Enforcement and sanctions policy, which we aim to publish shortly after the consultation response document.

Following the end of the consultation we will produce a consultation response document and this will be published on this consultation’s web page by the 6 April 2018. We will email you to inform you of when we have published this document if you have requested that we do so.



  • Businesses
  • Statutory organisations
  • Members of the public


  • Business and industry
  • Water quality
  • Waste
  • Environmental permitting