What Does the Environment Agency Do?

by | Jul 25, 2019

With the UK’s new carbon goals and climate change regulations, the Environment Agency (EA) is playing a larger role in the UK the energy industry.

So, what is the Environment Agency? And what does the Environment Agency do?

What is the Environment Agency?

Established in 1995, the Environment Agency (EA) is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the United Kingdom government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs(DEFRA). The Agency’s overall responsibility is the protection and enhancement of the environment in England.

What is the Environment Agency’s purpose?

The stated purpose of the Environment Agency is: “to protect or enhance the environment, taken as a whole” so as to promote “the objective of achieving sustainable development”. This protection includes threats such as pollution and flooding.

What is the Environment Agency’s vision?

“A rich, healthy and diverse environment for present and future generations.

What does the EA have to do with energy?

The EA states that they take a “leading role in limiting and preparing for the impacts of climate change.”

The Environmental Agency and ESOS

As the UK scheme administrator for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), the Environment Agency publishes ESOS guidelines on behalf of UK regulators.

The EA is responsible for ESOS:

  • Guidance
  • Helpdesk
  • Communications
  • Collection of notifications of compliance throughout the UK

Read more about ESOS.

EA Regulatory FAQ

Who are the ESOS regulators?

The principal regulator is the Environment Agency (EA).

Can the EA compel businesses to hand over documents?

Yes, in accordance with the requirements of the ‘Regulators’ Code’, the EA can compel businesses to hand over documents. The most commonly used power is found under section 108 of the Environment Act where the EA can require a business to produce records (including digital records) and provide copies if necessary.

The Environmental Agency and waste

In conjunction with the Police, the EA has been known to conduct dawn raids as a result of serious breaches – such as criminally-organised, illegal dumping of waste.

The EA as a regulator
The EA will consider all other options before criminal prosecution, such as imposing a civil sanction.

Find out more on the Environment Agency website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency

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