The Environment & Resources Authority consolidated all its compliance functions, previously dispersed within various Units, into one Compliance and Enforcement Unit at end January 2017.  All functions related to compliance and environmental law enforcement within ERA were grouped together making for more efficient and effective resource utilization.  However, enforcement powers only migrated to ERA in April 2017This was a veritable milestone in the evolution of the Authority and particularly its enforcement powers.  The emphasis on compliance and enforcement continued increasing and attaining new stature in 2018 when the erstwhile Unit became a dedicated Compliance & Enforcement Directorate (CED) in June 2018, and a Director for Compliance and Enforcement appointed.

The CED is presently made up of a number of compliance and enforcement sections covering a number of sectoral responsibilities, including quarries, waste and other industrial facilities; operations impacting on the sea and groundwater; shipments and extended producer responsibility of waste; nature and biodiversity; and waste dumping and movements.  A further section is a central operations one that is responsible for furthering enforcement action, including direct action, and follows up on administrative fines and recoupment of fines/bills.

Compliance work mainly seeks to ascertain that the conditions imposed in permits and authorizations issued by the Authority, and legal requirements are abided with. When this is not the case, the Directorate embarks on enforcement action, which can take the form of criminal prosecution at Court, or by administrative action.  The latter can take the form of Stop and Compliance Orders (Ordnijiet ta’ Waqfien u Konformità – OWK) which are all accompanied by daily fines, or by the imposition of Administrative Fines.  The latter were resorted to extensively in 2019. The Administrative Fine system has been used for a wide spectrum of offences relating to illegal deposition of garbage/litter, mixing of separated waste in refuse collection vehicles, waste incineration, construction and demolition waste ending up in the sea, fish-farming operations not in accordance with permit conditions, contraventions related to trees, failure by industrial facilities to meet reporting obligations in a timely manner, etc.

The Directorate also offers an on-call service for emergency enforcement cases that happen after office hours.  In such instances, the public can call on 22923500 between 0600-2300 hours after office hours, excluding Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Useful contacts:

Reporting an enforcement case:  [email protected]

Payment of fines or bills, or information about the payment of same: [email protected]

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