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Introduction

At an incident, the highest priority for fire and rescue services will always be the safety of the public and firefighters. But they must also take into account the potential damage to the environment caused by the incident itself or fire and rescue service actions, both of which can affect air, land and water.

Effective and informed action by responders can reduce the environmental impact of incidents and protect public safety. This section of National Operational Guidance sets out the knowledge and controls that should be considered to protect the environment. It does not give information on the specific risks from hazardous materials, which can be found in National Operational Guidance: Hazardous Materials and the Department for Communities and Local Government's hazardous materials guidance.

This piece of guidance contains a number of references to the Environment Agency's Environmental Protection Handbook for the Fire and Rescue Service, jointly produced by the Environment Agency, fire and rescue services and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The structure of this guidance follows the style and format of fire and rescue service National Operational Guidance Programme. It relates to specific hazard and control measures following a literature review. The control statements support a fire and rescue service in developing policies and procedures that deliver the 'safe person' principles and promote the protection of the environment at all incidents.