Prevent and remedy pollution incidents
Every year there are thousands of cases of damage to the environment. The Environmental Liability Regulations relate to the most serious cases, covering:
- damage to species and habitats
- damage to water
- risks to human health from contamination of land
The regulations apply to both actual cases of damage and threats of imminent damage. If you are responsible - ie you are the 'operator' of the activity that causes or threatens the damage - you must take immediate action to prevent or remedy this.
See our guide on pollution incidents and environmental damage - an overview.
Reporting an incident
You should call the SEPA Pollution Hotline on Tel 0800 80 70 60 to report incidents such as:
- damage or danger to the natural environment
- pollution to water or land
- poaching or illegal fishing
- fish in distress or dead fish
- watercourse blocked by a vehicle or fallen tree causing risk of flooding
- illegal dumping of special (hazardous) waste or large amounts of industrial waste
- incidents at Scottish Environment Protection Agency - regulated waste sites
- illegal abstraction from watercourses
- unusual drops in river flow
- collapsed or badly damaged river or canal banks
You should report incidents such as gas leaks, burst water mains, or domestic odours, noise, waste or pest nuisances to your local authority or utility company.