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Flood and Water Management Act 2010

Section 37: Civil sanctions

378.This section relates to the existing ability under the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 for certain regulators (such as the Environment Agency) to be given (by order) the ability to impose various kinds of civil sanctions on persons who have committed offences, as an alternative to prosecution.

379.This stems from the “Macrory Report” which was concerned that some regulators were over-reliant on criminal prosecution as a means of enforcement and this can lead to a compliance gap. It recommended introducing a set of administrative penalties that would allow regulators to impose proportionate, flexible and meaningful sanctions. Civil sanctions can include financial penalties and restoration notices.

380.This section ensures that existing offences in legislation that is amended by the Act remain eligible for orders granting the ability for civil sanction alternatives to be available. In this respect it aims to preserve the status quo. Hence where an offence is currently not able to be the subject of an order to make civil sanctions available, this situation will continue. It also allows for some offences which are inserted into existing legislation to be the subject of civil sanction orders.

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