Clean Air Act 1993

Cited as:1993 c. 11
Jurisdiction:UK Non-devolved


Clean Air Act 1993

1993 CHAPTER 11

An Act to consolidate the Clean Air Acts 1956 and 1968 and certain related enactments, with amendments to give effect to recommendations of the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission.

[27th May 1993]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Dark Smoke

Part I

Dark Smoke

S-1 Prohibition of dark smoke from chimneys.

1 Prohibition of dark smoke from chimneys.

(1) Dark smoke shall not be emitted from a chimney of any building, and if, on any day, dark smoke is so emitted, the occupier of the building shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) Dark smoke shall not be emitted from a chimney (not being a chimney of a building) which serves the furnace of any fixed boiler or industrial plant, and if, on any day, dark smoke is so emitted, the person having possession of the boiler or plant shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) This section does not apply to emissions of smoke from any chimney, in such classes of case and subject to such limitations as may be prescribed in regulations made by the Secretary of State, lasting for not longer than such periods as may be so prescribed.

(4) In any proceedings for an offence under this section, it shall be a defence to prove—

(a) that the alleged emission was solely due to the lighting up of a furnace which was cold and that all practicable steps had been taken to prevent or minimise the emission of dark smoke

(b) that the alleged emission was solely due to some failure of a furnace, or of apparatus used in connection with a furnace, and that—

(i) the failure could not reasonably have been foreseen, or, if foreseen, could not reasonably have been provided against; and

(ii) the alleged emission could not reasonably have been prevented by action taken after the failure occurred; or

(c) that the alleged emission was solely due to the use of unsuitable fuel and that—

(i) suitable fuel was unobtainable and the least unsuitable fuel which was available was used; and

(ii) all practicable steps had been taken to prevent or minimise the emission of dark smoke as the result of the use of that fuel

or that the alleged emission was due to the combination of two or more of the causes specified in paragraphs (a) to (c) and that the other conditions specified in those paragraphs are satisfied in relation to those causes respectively.

(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction—

(a) in the case of a contravention of subsection (1) as respects a chimney of a private dwelling, to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale; and

(b) in any other case, to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(6) This section has effect subject to section 51 (duty to notify offences to occupier or other person liable).

S-2 Prohibition of dark smoke from industrial or trade premises.

2 Prohibition of dark smoke from industrial or trade premises.

(1) Dark smoke shall not be emitted from any industrial or trade premises and if, on any day, dark smoke is so emitted the occupier of the premises and any person who causes or permits the emission shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) This section does not apply—

(a) to the emission of dark smoke from any chimney to which section 1 above applies; or

(b) to the emission of dark smoke caused by the burning of any matter prescribed in regulations made by the Secretary of State, subject to compliance with such conditions (if any) as may be so prescribed.

(3) In proceedings for an offence under this section, there shall be taken to have been an emission of dark smoke from industrial or trade premises in any case where—

(a) material is burned on those premises; and

(b) the circumstances are such that the burning would be likely to give rise to the emission of dark smoke,

unless the occupier or any person who caused or permitted the burning shows that no dark smoke was emitted.

(4) In proceedings for an offence under this section, it shall be a defence to prove—

(a) that the alleged emission was inadvertent; and

(b) that all practicable steps had been taken to prevent or minimise the emission of dark smoke.

(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(6) In this section ‘industrial or trade premises’ means—

(a) premises used for any industrial or trade purposes; or

(b) premises not so used on which matter is burnt in connection with any industrial or trade process.

(7) This section has effect subject to section 51 (duty to notify offences to occupier or other person liable).

S-3 Meaning of ‘dark smoke’.

3 Meaning of ‘dark smoke’.

(1) In this Act ‘dark smoke’ means smoke which, if compared in the appropriate manner with a chart of the type known on 5th July 1956 (the date of the passing of the Clean Air Act 1956 ) as the Ringelmann Chart, would appear to be as dark as or darker than shade 2 on the chart.

(2) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that in proceedings—

(a) for an offence under section 1 or 2 (prohibition of emissions of dark smoke); or

(b) brought by virtue of section 17 (smoke nuisances in Scotland),

the court may be satisfied that smoke is or is not dark smoke as defined in subsection (1) notwithstanding that there has been no actual comparison of the smoke with a chart of the type mentioned in that subsection.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsections (1) and (2), if the Secretary of State by regulations prescribes any method of ascertaining whether smoke is dark smoke as defined in subsection (1), proof in any such proceedings as are mentioned in subsection (2)—

(a) that that method was properly applied, and

(b) that the smoke was thereby ascertained to be or not to be dark smoke as so defined,

shall be accepted as sufficient.

II Smoke, grit, dust and fumes

Part II

Smoke, grit, dust and fumes

Installation of furnaces

Installation of furnaces

S-4 Requirement that new furnaces shall be so far as practicable smokeless.

4 Requirement that new furnaces shall be so far as practicable smokeless.

(1) No furnace shall be installed in a building or in any fixed boiler or industrial plant unless notice of the proposal to install it has been given to the local authority.

(2) No furnace shall be installed in a building or in any fixed boiler or industrial plant unless the furnace is so far as practicable capable of being operated continuously without emitting smoke when burning fuel of a type for which the furnace was designed.

(3) Any furnace installed in accordance with plans and specifications submitted to, and approved for the purposes of this section by, the local authority shall be treated as complying with the provisions of subsection (2).

(4) Any person who installs a furnace in contravention of subsection (1) or (2) or on whose instructions a furnace is so installed shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction—

(a) in the case of a contravention of subsection (1), to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale; and

(b) in the case of a contravention of subsection (2), to a fine not exceeding level 5 on that scale.

(5) This section does not apply to the installation of domestic furnaces.

(6) This section applies in relation to—

(a) the attachment to a building of a boiler or industrial plant which already contains a furnace; or

(b) the fixing to or installation on any land of any such boiler or plant

as it applies in relation to the installation of a furnace in any fixed boiler or industrial plant.

Limits on rate of emission of grit and dust

Limits on rate of emission of grit and dust

S-5 Emission of grit and dust from furnaces.

5 Emission of grit and dust from furnaces.

(1) This section applies to any furnace other than a domestic furnace.

(2) The Secretary of State may by regulations prescribe limits on the rates of emission of grit and dust from the chimneys of furnaces to which this section applies.

(3) If on any day grit or dust is emitted from a chimney serving a furnace to which this section applies at a rate exceeding the relevant limit prescribed under subsection (2), the occupier of any building in which the furnace is situated shall be guilty of an offence.

(4) In proceedings for an offence under subsection (3) it shall be a defence to prove that the best practicable means had been used for minimising the alleged emission.

(5) If, in the case of a building containing a furnace to which this section applies and which is served by a chimney to which there is no limit applicable under subsection (2), the occupier fails to use any practicable means there may be for minimising the emission of grit or dust from the chimney, he shall be guilty of an offence.

(6) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

Arrestment plant for furnaces

Arrestment plant for furnaces

S-6 Arrestment plant for new non-domestic furnaces.

6 Arrestment plant for new non-domestic furnaces.

(1) A furnace other than a domestic furnace shall not be used in a building—

(a) to burn pulverised fuel; or

(b) to burn, at a rate of 45.4 kilograms or more an hour any other solid matter; or

(c) to burn, at a rate equivalent to 366.4 kilowatts or more, any liquid or gaseous matter

unless the furnace is provided with plant for arresting grit...

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