Pollution in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Alphacell Ltd v Woodward
    • House of Lords
    • 03 Maio 1972

    The subsection evidently contemplates two things— causing, which must involve some active operation or chain of operations involving as the result the pollution of the stream; knowingly permitting, which involves a failure to prevent the pollution, which failure, however, must be accompanied by knowledge.

    The whole complex operation which might lead to this result was an operation deliberately conducted by the Appellants and I fail to see how a defect in one stage of it, even if we must assume that this happened without their negligence, can enable them to say they did not cause the pollution. In my opinion, complication of this case by infusion of the concept of mens rea, and its exceptions, is unnecessary and undesirable.

    The vital question is whether the Appellants caused that pollution within the meaning of section 2 (1) of the Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) Act 1951. The nature of causation has been discussed by many eminent philosophers and also by a number of learned judges in the past. I consider, however, that what or who has caused a certain event to occur is essentially a practical question of fact which can best be answered by ordinary commonsense rather than abstract metaphysical theory.

    They certainly did not intend to cause pollution but they intended to do the acts which caused it. What they did was something different in kind from the passive storing of effluent which could not discharge into the river save by an act of God or, as in Impress (Worcester) Ltd. v. Rees [1971] All E.R. 357 by the active intervention of a stranger, the risk of which could not reasonably have been foreseen.

  • King v Brandywine Reinsurance Company (UK) Ltd (formerly Cigna Re Company (UK) Ltd) [QBD (Comm)]
    • Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
    • 10 Maio 2004

    Mr Kettel had many years experience in the energy industry, including 16 years at Atlantic Richfield and 9 years at Chevron, in both corporations responsible exclusively for insurance matters. He had for 18 years been a member of the Oil Insurance Group consisting of about 15 insurance managers from the major energy companies, including Exxon, who regularly met to discuss insurance problems. He was also a board member of ITIA – the International Tanker Insurance Association, from 1975 to 1994.

  • Hopkins Developments Ltd v First Secretary of State and North Wiltshire DC
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 10 Novembro 2006

    They establish the proposition that the impact of air emissions from a proposed development is capable of being a material planning consideration but in considering that issue the planning authority is entitled to take into account the pollution control regime.

  • Cornwall Waste Forum St Dennis Branch v The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1st Appellant) Sita Cornwall Ltd (2nd Appellant)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 29 Março 2012

    He observed correctly that the control of such emissions in this case was a matter for the Environment Agency. Although the overall planning judgement was one for the Secretary of State, he was entitled to be guided on this issue by the agreed position of the two specialist agencies. That was entirely consistent with the familiar approach approved in cases such as Gateshead. Mr Wolfe was right not to put this point at the forefront of his case.

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Books & Journal Articles
  • Pollution and penalties
    • An Introduction to the Law and Economics of Environmental Policy: Issues in Institutional Design
    • 493-516
    This paper investigates the economic implications of applying different sanctions, notably criminal penalties, the suspension or revocation of licences and administrative fines to environmental reg...
  • Pollution solution?
    • Nbr. 2002, May 2002
    • Financial Management (UK)
    • Smith, A
    • Letters
    ...I am writing in response to the article concerning the changes in UK taxation for company car provision based on C[O.sub.2] emissions ("Any colour as long as it's green", April). While I understand the move to encourage more environmentally friendly ......
  • Atmospheric Pollution as a Global Policy Problem
    • Nbr. 27-2, May 1990
    • Journal of Peace Research
    This article examines the prospects for further international control of atmospheric pollution. Air pollution has become a global policy problem, control of which requires the collaboration of many...
  • Ius Commune and Transboundary Environmental Pollution
    • Nbr. 2-3, September 1995
    • Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law
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Law Firm Commentaries
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  • Chapter BIM67545
    • HMRC Guidance manuals
    • Formularios de Derecho Civil, Mercantil y Registral
    ......A waste disposal licence is:. a disposal licence under Part I Control of Pollution Act 1974 or Part 2 Pollution Control and Local Government (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, SI 1978 No 1049 (NI 19); or. a waste management licence ......
  • Chapter CIRD60135
    • HMRC Guidance manuals
    • Formularios de Derecho Civil, Mercantil y Registral
    ......But you have to consider whether they have caused additional contamination or, knowing that the pollution was present, have failed to take sufficient steps to contain the pollution. A company may acquire a site in a contaminated state and not qualify for ......
  • Chapter CIRD63215
    • HMRC Guidance manuals
    • Formularios de Derecho Civil, Mercantil y Registral
    ......For expenditure incurred on or before 31 March 2009. The controlled waters affected by the land are those where pollution is being caused, or is likely to be caused, because the land is in a contaminated state. For expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2009. The ......
  • Chapter CIRD60130
    • HMRC Guidance manuals
    • Formularios de Derecho Civil, Mercantil y Registral
    ......It applies whether the pollution occurred because of something:. the company did (such as burying contaminated waste) or. the company failed to do (such as contamination due to ......
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