Enforcement of Conditions
Following process inspections, the Local Authority has a range of enforcement options available to tackle any issues of non-compliance with permit conditions. The enforcement options are detailed below:
The local authority will normally use informal methods of enforcement in the first instance to bring about improvements in a process. This would normally involve a letter to the company explaining any issues of non-compliance and some practical advice on possible improvements. A visit would normally be made a short time after to check progress of improvements.
A local authority can serve an enforcement notice if the inspecting officer believes that an operator has contravened, is contravening, or is likely to contravene the conditions of a permit. The notice states the measures needed to comply with the permit conditions and the time in which improvements should be made.
A local authority can serve a suspension notice if, in the opinion of the inspecting officer, the operation of an installation poses a risk of serious pollution to the environment. When an authority serves a suspension notice, the permit ceases to authorise the operation of the entire regulated facility. Once the operator has taken the remedial steps required by the notice, the authority must withdraw it.
A local authority can revoke a permit by written notice at any time, by serving a revocation notice. The permit then ceases to authorise the operation of the installation.
* Failure to comply with the terms of enforcement notice, suspension notice, revocation notice or the conditions of a permit is an offence, which, upon successful conviction on indictment, can result in maximum penalties to include an unlimited fine and/or up to 5 years imprisonment.