Owners of polluted land are being warned they may face potentially huge clean-up bills following a new environmental law.

Carlyle Insurance Brokers, which brokes legal protection covering liabilities from contaminated land, hosted a conference to raise awareness of the issue at Cardiff's Millennium stadium last week.

George Wigley, (pictured) managing director of Carlyle, said businesses can now face investigation, fines and clean-up costs if their land is discovered to be polluted.

He said: "We are stressing that all firms are now liable under the Environment Act 1995 which came into force last year, not just those involved with chemicals or other dangerous substances."

As the law has a retrospective aspect, firms can be made liable for pollution caused by previous land owners.

Fines can reach £20,000 plus a further £2,000 for each day firms fail to take clean-up action.

Independent Insurance chose the event to launch its new Environmental Impairment Liability insurance, which provides legal protection against compensation costs.