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by the NFCC

Environmental responsibilities

Responsibility for protecting the environment in the UK rests with a number of organisations including:

Each has similar duties and powers to protect and improve the environment, with some differences in their responsibilities. The term 'environmental agencies' is used in this guidance to refer to these organisations.

Nature conservation bodies are the enforcing authority for open land, such as sites of special scientific interest (SSSI), specific areas of conservation and special protection areas. These bodies include:

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is responsible for pollution from shipping and offshore installations, such as oil rigs. The Secretary of State has the power to extend marine responsibilities if it is considered to be in the national interest. For more information refer to Foundation for the environment - Marine incidents.

Local authorities have environmental responsibilities, including the impact of smoke from a fire and vehicle emissions. They deal with complaints related to noise, litter and odour for sites not regulated by environmental agencies and most fly-tipping incidents. For more information refer to Foundation for the environment - Role of local authorities.