Exploring the Dangers of Environmental Liability

The absence of sufficient Environmental Impairment insurance can leave you in a sticky situation when the worst can happen. Land Based Underwriters explore some recent case studies to demonstrate the need for such a tailored insurance policy to prevent business downtime and to also complement any environmental impairment liability risks. 

Manure Spillage and Slurry into a Watercourse

An incident occurred whereby an overturned trailer spilled 1,200 litres of manure into a nearby drainage ditch. Both slurry and manure have significant solid content meaning that they can subsequently blanket plant life damaging the ecology of surface waters. In relation to this incident, the spill caused rapid discolouration and deoxygenation of the watercourse. Unfortunately, this kind of environmental pollution can lead to fish kills through high biological oxygen demand and subsequent eutrophication. 

The Environmental Impairment Consequences

Such an incident holds consequences beyond the immediate damage to the environment. The Environment Agency are likely to enforce fines and notices, leading to business interruption. Clean-up of the spill is both costly and time-consuming and may not be able to completely restore the area’s natural balance as treatment options generally rely on dilution and/or artificial oxygenation of the watercourse. 

Leak of Pesticide

 Improper storage and handling of hazardous chemicals can have disastrous consequences, as was the case when 50 litres of pesticide leaked from a drum subsequently contaminating a chalk aquifer. Pesticide is a highly toxic pollutant and extremely harmful to the environment and human health. Often highly soluble, the impacts can be devastating. In this case, crops and wildlife felt the immediate impacts. Groundwater abstractions needed for drinking water supply were also impacted, meaning there was longer-term damage to valuable drinking resources and supplies.

The Environmental Impairment Consequences

Substantial enforcement notices and fines from The Environment Agency were implemented and it is crucial to put preventative environmental impairment measures in place against this type of incident. With substantial clean-up costs and long-term damage to drinking water the environment and local economy and community felt the impact of such an event.

Oil Leak within a Heated Greenhouse

The accidental release of kerosene, a type of heating oil from a ruptured oil feed pipe, lead to a boiler within a heated greenhouse having devastating consequences. The impact was immediate and significant, as Kerosene holds similar chemical properties to diesel and can quickly contaminate soils, subsequently causing damage to crop and vegetation. In this particular instance, 50 square metres of soil within the greenhouse was impacted killing off the vegetable crop and causing business disruption, and losses.

The Environmental Impairment Consequences

There was a costly large-scale excavation and replacement of the contaminated soil was required as the most reasonable solution in this case.  

Let Land Based Underwriters Help

Get in touch with our specialist team for advice today. We’re here to help protect businesses against the newer legislation on environmental impairment liability, and actively offer solutions to protect you and your clients