Environmental fines or notices: appeal against a regulator

How to appeal to a tribunal against fine, notice or other sanction issued by the Environment Agency, Natural England or another regulator.

What you can appeal against

You can appeal against a fine or a notice for an environmental offence – for example, for pollution or dumping toxic waste waste or against some other decisions, including those imposed by:

  • Environment Agency
  • Natural England
  • Marine Management Organisation
  • National Measurement Office
  • Local flood authorities
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
  • The Health and Safety Executive
  • Welsh ministers
  • Local authorities in England and Wales

The tribunal only deals with appeals against civil sanctions – not criminal offences.

The regulator’s decision may be put on hold until after the tribunal has considered your case, but this won’t always be possible.

Nitrate vulnerable zones

You can find the right to appeal in regulation 6 of the The Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations 2015, amended by SI 2016/1190 and SI 2016/1254

The only grounds of appeal are that the land (or any part of it):

  1. does not drain into polluted water

  2. drains into water which is not polluted.

Find out more about your land and nitrate vulnerable zones.

Use the T38 coversheet and include it with your appeal.

The tribunal

Your case will be dealt with by a tribunal in the General Regulatory Chamber.

The tribunal is independent of the government and will listen to both sides of the argument before it reaches a decision.

How to appeal

You have 28 days to appeal after the regulator sends you its decision.

Under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulations your appeal must be bought to the Tribunal within 90 days of the days of the date on which the appellant was aware of the decision.

Use the notice of appeal form and guidance leaflet.

Say clearly why you think the regulator’s decision was wrong or unreasonable.

Include any supporting documents, like the regulator’s decision

Send the form to or:

General Regulatory Chamber
HM Courts & Tribunals Service
PO Box 9300

Telephone: 020 3936 8963

What happens next

The tribunal will write to you about the next steps.

Find out more about General Regulatory Chamber hearings and decisions.

Legislation and rules

You can find the main sanctions and the right to appeal to the tribunal in the:

The other environmental regulations are listed in rules and rights of appeal leaflet (T98a) and the REACH rules and rights of appeal.

You can read the rules on how your case will be handled in the General Regulatory Chamber procedure rules.

Read about the GRC Practice Direction relating to Environmental Stop Notices.

Published 17 November 2014
Last updated 15 June 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added information about the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulations.

  2. Minor change

  3. new jurisdiction

  4. First published.