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The Environment Agency (EA) is responsible for enforcing laws that protect the environment (England) including the F Gas Regulation and ODS Regulations, European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC), Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), Fluorinated Greenhouse Gas regime (F-Gas) and Climate Change Agreements (CCA).

Civil penalties for F Gas Regulation from 2018

The EA may now impose civil penalties for numerous breaches referred to in Regulation 31A of the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gas Regulations 2015 (the F Gas Regulations). They are all of the following:

  • failing to comply with any of the provisions of Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 of the European Parliament of the Council on fluorinated greenhouse gases (the 2014 Regulation) set out in Schedule 2 to the F Gas Regulations with the exception of Article 17(1) of the 2014 Regulation
  • causing or permitting another person to breach specified provisions of the 2014 Regulation
  • failing to comply with specified provisions of certain European Commission Regulations relating to certification, attestation, labelling, fire protections systems and stationary equipment
  • failing to comply with various specified provisions of the F Gas Regulations
  •  

In total they can now impose civil penalties for around 80 breaches relating to:

  • intentional release of F gas
  • placing F gas on the market
  • the F gas quota
  • the use of F gas
  • reporting and record keeping
  • failure to comply with relevant requirements or notices or to provide assistance
  • F gas leakage and recovery

 

They will normally impose a civil penalty for all breaches referred to in Regulation 31A of the F Gas Regulations subject to the additional enforcement position (see E2.2) using the statutory maximum as the initial penalty amount.  Although they may use an initial penalty amount lower than the statutory maximum for example when:

  • a breach is serious because of its potential for environmental harm but the actual harm caused is much less
  • a civil penalty for failure to comply with an enforcement notice is imposed and the EA don’t think the statutory maximum of £200,000 is justified

 

However, the website states that they will not impose a civil penalty where:

  • they consider giving advice and guidance will be sufficient to rectify the breach
  • punishment or future deterrent is not necessary

If after they have given advice and guidance the breach is not rectified, they may then impose a civil penalty.

 

The full list of possible enforcement options is available in sections 7.4 and 7.5 of the Environment Agency Offences Response Document. 

 

Need more details or advice?

 

 

 

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