Environment Agency releases annual whistleblowing disclosures
The Environment Agency has an obligation to act on third-party disclosures to it concerning malpractice on environmental matters.
From 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018, it received 28 disclosures.
The Agency has published a report including a summary of each disclosure, the action taken and the impact this had on the Environment Agency. Disclosures included issues with permit conditions, mis-description of waste, acceptance of non-permitted wastes, storing of waste, disclosures involved unlawful movement of fish, permit breaches, land contamination, illegal disposal of waste, illegal waste sites, land and water pollution, and oil and chemical spills.
Actions taken included site inspections, enforcement notices, the use of the National Incident Reporting System, the storing of intelligence on the MIMEX database, ongoing investigations, the notification of responsible persons, and discussions with reporters or other agencies for further information.
The impact these disclosures had included improved incident handling process, better training for Agency officers, the Agency notified of permit breaches, and better awareness of environmental risk to ensure future compliance.
The report concluded that as a result of such disclosures, the Agency is able to protect and improve the environment, as well as support healthier and safer communities.