In October 2015 the Dublin Circuit Court fined a landfill operator €20 million for nuisance odours and pollution offences. This ground-breaking prosecution on behalf of the Irish Environmental Protection Agency helps send an important deterrent message to environmental criminals.
It is also part of what may be a growing (though not universal) trend in increased fines for environmental offences across the EU. In the United Kingdom, recently revised sentencing guidelines for judges have led to the English Environment Agency securing a number of 6 and 7 figure fines in quick succession. Most recently, in January 2016, a privatised water company was fined £1 million (approximately €1.4 million) for water pollution offences.
ENPE is currently engaged in an analysis of real-world sentencing for environmental crime across the EU and we hope to report back further soon.
For more information on Environmental Protection Agency prosecution, contact Lorna Dempsey: [email protected].