Environmental laws are designed to protect air, land and water quality and to minimise the risk of pollution, degradation and other impacts from harming human health and the natural environment. In the UK, environmental laws and regulations are derived from national, European and international laws and treaties.

There are several government departments with environmental responsibilities and these are supported by environment agencies and other regulatory bodies whose role is to protect the environment and human health and ensure legal compliance.

This topic describes the environmental functions of key European institutions, UK government departments and regulators. It also explains the requirements of environmental regulations in EMS implementation and how to avoid noncompliance.

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