Environmental compliance assurance describes all the ways in which public authorities promote, monitor and enforce compliance with such rules. It is part of environmental governance.
- Promote means helping businesses and others to comply;
- Monitor means using inspections and other checks to collect information about levels of compliance and provide solid evidence for enforcement;
- Enforce means stopping those who disregard the rules, sanctioning them and obliging them to rectify the damage.
Promotion covers awareness-raising, guidance and advice. Monitoring covers routine environmental inspections, police investigations and environmental audits by public audit bodies. It also includes examination of complaints from the public. Enforcement covers audit recommendations, official warnings, cease-and-desist orders, administrative fines, criminal prosecutions and demands to take remedial action. Interventions may vary according to what works best.
Public consultations were launched on the following documents:
Draft guidance document on combating environmental crime (by 10 May 2019)
Draft guidance on ensuring environmental compliance in rural areas (with particular reference to water and nature) (by 5 April 2019)
Draft documentation on complaint-handling and citizen engagement (by 15 March 2019)