The Offshore Environmental Civil Sanctions Regulations (“the Regulations”) will come into force on 1 October 2018. The Regulations introduce powers for the Secretary of State to impose civil sanctions on offshore companies for breaches of specified environmental legislation relating to offshore oil and gas operations in the UKCS and relevant UK territorial waters. These powers will in practice be exercised by the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (“OPRED”). OPRED will publish guidance on the new civil sanctions by 1 November 2018 and the sanctions will only apply to offences committed after this date.

A consultation on the Regulations was conducted by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in January and a summary of the Regulations was published on Law-Now at this time: our full article can be viewed here.

Update: variable and fixed monetary penalties

In respect of variable and fixed monetary penalties, there has been a change to the Regulations since the consultation. Under the Regulations a recipient of a notice of intent from OPRED will have 35 days to make representations in relation to the proposed imposition of a penalty. At the time of the consultation this period was 28 days.

There have been no further reportable changes to the Regulations since the publication of the article referenced above.