Liability for water pollution offences

The principles governing the strict liability which attaches to water pollution offences were clarified by the Divisional Court this month. Southern Water Authority v Pegrum (Guardian Law Report, 22 February 1989) is thought to be the first recorded case in which the High Court has considered the key offence under Part II of the Control of Pollution Act 1974, and the result, which is in line with previous authority on earlier legislation, will give little comfort to defendants wishing to escape liability in this area.

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