The Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) (England) Regulations 2015

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CitationSI 2015/810

2015No. 810

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, ENGLAND

The Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) (England) Regulations 2015

19thMarch2015

23rdMarch2015

19thJuly2015

The Secretary of State has been designated in respect of the environment for the purposes of section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 ("the 1972 Act")( 1) and makes these Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by that section, as read with paragraph 1A of Schedule 2 to the 1972 Act, and section 14A(2)(a) of the Interpretation Act 1978( 2).

These Regulations make provision for a purpose mentioned in section 2(2) of, and paragraph 1A of Schedule 2 to, the 1972 Act and it appears to the Secretary of State that it is expedient for references to EU instruments in these Regulations (other than references to Directive 2004/35/ECof the European Parliament and of the Council on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage( 3)) to be construed as references to those instruments as amended from time to time.

PART 1

Introductory Provisions

Title, commencement and application

1.-(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) (England) Regulations 2015 and come into force on 19th July 2015.

(2) They apply in relation to England and the areas specified in regulation 6.

Interpretation

2.-(1) In these Regulations-

"activity" means any economic activity, whether public or private and whether or not carried out for profit;

"baselines" means the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured for the purposes of the Territorial Sea Act 1987( 4);

" Directive 2000/60/EC" means Directive 2000/60/ECof the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy( 5);

" Directive 2004/35/EC" means Directive 2004/35/ECof the European Parliament and of the Council on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage;

"enforcing authority" means the person or body responsible for enforcing these Regulations, in accordance with regulation 10 or 11;

"local authority" means-

(a) where there is a unitary authority for a local government area, that authority;(b) where there is not a unitary authority-(i) in a metropolitan district, the council of that district;(ii) in a non-metropolitan county, the district council;(iii) in each London borough, the council of that borough;(iv) in the City of London, the Common Council;(v) on the Isles of Scilly, the Council of the Isles of Scilly;

"marine waters" means waters classified as marine waters pursuant to Directive 2008/56/ECof the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for Community action in the field of marine environmental policy( 6);

"natural habitat" means-

(a) the habitats of species mentioned in Article 4(2) of, or Annex I to, Council Directive 2009/147/ECon the conservation of wild birds( 7) or listed in Annex II to Council Directive 92/43/EECon the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora( 8);(b) the natural habitats listed in Annex I to Council Directive 92/43/EEC; and(c) the breeding sites or resting places of the species listed in Annex IV to Council Directive 92/43/EEC;

"natural resources" means-

(a) a protected species;(b) a natural habitat;(c) a species or habitat on a site of special scientific interest by reason of which the site has been notified under section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981( 9);(d) water; and(e) land;

"operator" means the person who operates or controls an activity, including the holder of a permit or authorisation relating to that activity, or the person registering or notifying an activity for the purposes of any enactment;

"protected species" means a species of a kind mentioned in Article 4(2) of Council Directive 2009/147/ECor listed in Annex I to that Directive or Annexes II and IV to Council Directive 92/43/EEC;

"remediation notice" means a notice served in accordance with regulation 20(2);

"responsible operator" means the operator in relation to an activity that has caused environmental damage;

"the Scottish zone" has the meaning it has in the Scotland Act 1998( 10);

"services" means the functions performed by natural resources which benefit other natural resources or the public;

"site of special scientific interest" has the same meaning as in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981( 11).

(2) Unless otherwise defined in these Regulations, expressions used in Directive 2004/35/EChave the same meaning in these Regulations.

References to EU instruments

3.-(1) Subject to paragraph (2), references in these Regulations to EU instruments are to those instruments as amended from time to time.

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to references to Directive 2004/35/EC.

Meaning of "environmental damage"

4.-(1) These Regulations apply in relation to the prevention and remediation of environmental damage; and environmental damage is damage, as specified in this regulation, to-

(a) a protected species or natural habitat, or a site of special scientific interest;(b) surface water or groundwater;(c) marine waters; or(d) land.

(2) Environmental damage to a protected species or natural habitat or a site of special scientific interest means damage of a kind specified in Schedule 1.

(3) Environmental damage to surface water means damage to a surface water body classified as such pursuant to Directive 2000/60/ECsuch that-

(a) a biological quality element listed in Annex V to that Directive,(b) the level of a chemical listed in the legislation in Annex IX or a chemical listed in Annex X to that Directive, or(c) a physicochemical quality element listed in Annex V to that Directive,

changes sufficiently to lower the status of the water body in accordance with Directive 2000/60/EC(whether or not the water body is in fact reclassified as being of lower status).

(4) Environmental damage to groundwater means any damage to a body of groundwater such that its conductivity, level or concentration of pollutants changes sufficiently to lower its status for the purposes of Directive 2000/60/EC(and, in relation to pollutants, for the purposes of Directive 2006/118/ECof the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration( 12)), whether or not the body of groundwater is in fact reclassified as being of lower status.

(5) Environmental damage to marine waters means damage to marine waters such that their environmental status is significantly adversely affected.

(6) Environmental damage to land means contamination of land by substances, preparations, organisms or micro-organisms, where that damage results in a significant risk of adverse effects on human health.

Environmental damage to which these Regulations apply

5.-(1) These Regulations apply in relation to environmental damage if it is caused by an activity mentioned in Schedule 2.

(2) In the case of environmental damage to a protected species or natural habitat or a site of special scientific interest, these Regulations also apply in relation to environmental damage caused by any other activity if the operator-

(a) intended to cause environmental damage; or(b) was negligent as to whether environmental damage would be caused.

Areas of application

6.-(1) Environmental damage is relevant for the purposes of these Regulations only if the damage, of a type specified in the first column of the following table, occurs in an area specified in the second column of that table in relation to damage of that type.

Type of damage

Area in which these Regulations apply

Damage to surface water or groundwater

England and all waters up to one nautical mile seaward from the baselines in England.

Damage to marine waters

All marine waters within any of the following descriptions-

(a) marine waters up to one nautical mile seaward from the baselines in England so far as not already addressed as damage to surface water or groundwater;

(b) marine waters from one nautical mile seaward from the baselines in England, extending to the outermost reach of the area where the United Kingdom exercises jurisdictional rights, in accordance with UNCLOS;

(c) marine waters beyond 12 nautical miles from the baselines in Wales, extending to the outermost reach of the area where the United Kingdom exercises jurisdictional rights, in accordance with UNCLOS;

(d) marine waters up to the limit of the exclusive economic zone which lies within the Scottish zone, or which lies outside the Scottish zone, but is nearer to any point on the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea adjacent to Scotland is measured than to any point on the baselines in any other part of the United Kingdom.

Damage in a site of special scientific interest

England

Damage to a protected species or natural habitat

England, the seabed out to the limits of the continental shelf 1000, and anywhere within marine waters, other than the seabed, out to the limits of the exclusive economic zone 1000.

Damage to land

England

(2) In the table in paragraph (1)-

"the continental shelf" means the areas designated by Order in Council under section 1(7) of the Continental Shelf Act 1964( 15);

"the exclusive economic zone" means the areas designated by the Exclusive Economic Zone Area Order 2013( 16); and

"UNCLOS" means the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which opened for signature on 10th December 1982( 17).

Other legislation

7.-(1) These Regulations are without prejudice to any other enactment concerning damage to the environment.

(2) They are without prejudice to the right of an operator to limit liability in accordance with the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976( 18).

Exemptions

8.-(1) These Regulations do not apply in relation to-

(a) damage that occurred before 1st March 2009( 19) (but see also paragraph (2));(b) damage that occurs...

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