Enforcement and sanctions policy

Closed 29 Jan 2018

Opened 28 Nov 2017

Results Updated 11 Apr 2018

The consultation was run between 28 November 2017 and 29 January 2018. We were consulting on the combination of the Enforcement and Sanctions Guidance (ESG) and Enforcement and Sanctions Statement (ESS) into one new document, the Enforcement and sanctions policy (ESP).

There were 50 responses to the consultation.

We have read and considered all responses and a summary of these can be found in the Consultation Response Document, along with our response.

We have made some amendments to the ESP in light of the comments received, and this has been published on our website.




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 23 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