The regulation of risk is high on the political agenda and viewed as an important component of modernizing government. The Environment Agency of England and Wales has responsibilities for regulating and managing a wide range of risks to and from the environment. In some areas of regulation, a structured and explicit treatent of risk is required; in other areas, the approach is more implicit and reliant on professional judgement. This paper presents an overview of the application of risk assessment in the Environment Agency and a summary of recent policy and regulatory drivers. It introduces some emerging issues with respect to current practice in environmental risk assessment.