Sea Pollution Act 1991

Interpretation.

3

3. (1) In this Act, except where the context otherwise requires—

F1 [ AFS Convention means the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems done at London on 5 October 2001;

anti-fouling system means a coating, paint, surface treatment, surface, or device that is used on a ship to control or prevent attachment of unwanted organisms;

ballast water means water with its suspended matter taken on board a ship to control trim, list, draught, stability or stresses of the ship;

ballast water management means mechanical, physical, chemical, and biological processes, either singularly or in combination, to remove, render harmless, or avoid the uptake or discharge of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens within ballast water and sediments;

BWM Convention means the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments 2004 done at London on 13 February 2004; ]

discharge”, in relation to oil, oily mixtures, noxious liquid substances, harmful substances, F2 [ sewage, garbage, substances subject to control by Annex VI to the MARPOL Convention, anti-fouling systems or ships ballast water and sediments ], or any effluent containing any of those substances, means any release, howsoever caused, from a ship and includes any escape, disposal, spilling, leaking, pumping, emitting or emptying of any substance from a ship, but does not include—

( a) dumping, within the meaning of the Dumping at Sea Act, 1981, or

( b) the release of oil, oily mixtures, noxious liquid substances or harmful substances directly arising from the exploration, exploitation and associated offshore processing of sea-bed mineral resources F3 [ or in connection with the operation of a pipe-line or cable for the transport or transmission of an energy product (within the meaning of the Continental Shelf Act, 1968 ), whether derived from mineral resources as aforesaid or not ], or

( c) the release of oil, oily mixtures, noxious liquid substances or harmful substances for the purpose of legitimate scientific research into pollution abatement or control;

F4 [ harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens means aquatic organisms or pathogens which, if introduced into the sea, including estuaries, or into fresh water courses, may create hazards to the environment, human health, property or resources, impair biological diversity or interfere with other legitimate uses of such areas; ]

F5 [ hazardous and noxious substances means any substance other than oil which, if introduced into the marine environment, is likely to create a hazard to human health, to harm living resources and marine life, to damage amenities or to interfere with other legitimate uses of the sea;

hazardous and noxious substances handling facility means a facility where hazardous and noxious substances are loaded into or unloaded from ships;

hazardous and noxious substances pollution emergency plan in relation to a harbour, offshore unit, oil handling facility, hazardous and noxious substances handling facility, Irish ship or an area of seashore in whole or in part within the functional area, or contiguous to the functional area, of a local authority, means a plan for the prevention and minimisation of damage arising out of a pollution incident by hazardous and noxious substances approved by the Minister under section 2 of the Sea Pollution (Amendment) Act 1999; ]

fauna” means all wild animals (both aquatic and terrestrial) and includes in particular wild birds, wild mammals, reptiles, non-aquatic invertebrate animals and amphibians, and all such wild animals' eggs and young, and also includes all species of fish and other aquatic invertebrate animals and their eggs or spawn or brood or young;

flora” means all plants (both aquatic and terrestrial) which occur in the wild (whether within or without the State) and are not trees, shrubs or other plants being grown in the course of agriculture or horticulture and includes, in particular, lichens, mosses, liverworts, fungi, algae, marine algae and vascular plants, namely, flowering plants, ferns, and fern-allied plants and any community of such plants;

garbage” means all kinds of victual, domestic and operational waste (excluding fresh fish and parts thereof) and any other substance generated during the normal operation of a ship and liable to be disposed of either continuously or periodically other than a substance specifically regulated by this Act;

harbour” includes any dock, pier, wharf, jetty, boatslip, offshore terminal, installation or place intended or used for the accommodation, berthing or anchorage or for the shipping, unshipping or transhipping of goods;

harbour authority” means—

( a) in the case of a harbour to which the Harbours Act, 1946, applies, a harbour authority within the meaning of that Act;

( b) in the case of a harbour under the control of the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland, the Commissioners;

( c) in the case of a fishery harbour centre to which the Fishery Harbour Centres Act, 1968, applies, or Dún Laoghaire Harbour, the Minister for the Marine;

( d) in the case of a harbour under the control of a local authority, the local authority concerned; or

( e) in the case of a harbour under the management of Iarnród Éireann — Irish Rail, that company;

harbour-master” means a person appointed by a harbour authority to be a harbour-master and includes a person appointed by a harbour authority to enforce the provisions of this Act;

harmful substance” means any substance which, if introduced into the sea, is liable to—

( a) create hazards to human health,

( b) harm living marine resources,

( c) harm flora and fauna,

( d) damage amenities, or

( e) interfere with legitimate uses of the sea,

and any substance subject to control by the MARPOL Convention or prescribed under section 10 as a harmful substance and includes any such substance carried at sea, however carried;

inspector” means a person being—

( a) a surveyor of ships, or

( b) a person appointed to be an inspector by warrant of the Minister under section 20 , or

( c) an officer holding a commissioned naval rank in the Defence Forces, or

( d) a member of the Garda Síochána;

the Intervention Convention” means the International Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties, 1969, done at Brussels on the 29th day of November, 1969;

the Intervention Protocol” means the Protocol Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Pollution by Substances other than Oil, 1973, done at London on the 2nd day of November, 1973;

living marine resources” includes fish and the spawning grounds, or the food, of fish and includes all marine invertebrates, all crustaceans, and molluscs found in the sea;

F6 [ maritime casualty means a collision of ships, stranding or other incident of navigation, or other occurrence on board a ship or external to it, resulting in

( a ) material damage or imminent threat of material damage to a ship or cargo, or

( b ) pollution; ]

MARPOL Convention” means the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, done at London on the 2nd day of November, 1973, as amended by the Protocol thereto done at London on the 17th day of February, 1978;

master”, in relation to a ship, means the person having, for the time being, the command or charge of the ship;

the Minister” means the Minister for the Marine;

noxious liquid substance” means any liquid substance which, if introduced into the sea, is liable to—

( a) create hazards to human health,

( b) harm living marine resources,

( c) harm flora and fauna,

( d) damage amenities, or

( e) interfere with legitimate uses of the sea,

and any liquid substance prescribed under section 10 as a noxious liquid substance;

oil” (other than in section 26 ) means petroleum in any form including crude oil, fuel oil, diesel oil, lubricating oil, sludge, oil refuse and refined products and any oil or oily mixture prescribed as such under section 10 but does not include any substance prescribed as a noxious liquid substance;

oily mixture” means a mixture which has any oil content;

owner”, in relation to a ship, means the person registered as the owner of the ship, the person who owns the ship, and, in the case of a ship which is owned by a state (including the State) and is operated by a person who in that state is registered as the ship's operator, “ owner” means the person registered as such operator;

pollution”, when used without qualification, includes pollution by oil, by an oily mixture, by a noxious liquid substance, by a harmful substance, by sewage or by garbage;

prescribe” means prescribe by regulations made by the Minister and “ prescribed” shall be construed accordingly;

F7 [ prescribed area means an area outside the State prescribed by the Minister for the purposes of this Act; ]

related interests” has the meaning specified in section 26 (5) (b) ;

F4 [ sediments means matter settled out of ballast water within a ship; ]

sewage” means—

( a) drainage and other wastes from any form of toilets, urinals and water closet scuppers on board a ship; or

( b) drainage from medical quarters on board a ship by way of wash basins, wash tubs and scuppers located in such quarters; or

( c) drainage from spaces containing live animals on board a ship; or

( d) any other waste water discharged from a ship when such water is intermingled with any of the drainages specified at paragraph ( a), ( b) or ( c);

ship” means a vessel of any type whatsoever operating in the marine environment and includes hydrofoil boats, air-cushion vehicles, submersibles, floating craft and fixed or floating platforms and includes fixtures, fittings and equipment;

surveyor of ships” means a person appointed to be a surveyor of ships by warrant of the Minister under section 724 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894;

transfer”, in relation to oil, means transfer in bulk.

(2) Any word or expression which is used without definition in this Act and is also used in the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, or the Mercantile Marine Act, 1955, shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the same meaning in this Act as it has in that Act.

F8 [ (2A) A reference in this Act to the State includes a reference to

( a ) the inland waters of the State,

( b ) the territorial seas of the State, and the seabed and subsoil beneath those seas, and

( c ) the exclusive economic zone of the State (within the meaning of section 87 of the Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006). ]

F9 [ (3) A reference in this Act to a country other than the State includes a reference to the territorial seas and inland waters of that country. ]

(4) A reference in this Act to a section is a reference to a section of this Act unless it is indicated that a reference to some other Act is intended.

(5) A reference in this Act to a subsection or to a paragraph is a reference to the subsection or paragraph of the provision in which the reference occurs unless it is indicated that a reference to some other provision is intended.

(6) A reference in this Act to any enactment shall be construed as a reference to that enactment as amended or adapted by any subsequent enactment.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F1

Inserted (8.12.2006) by Sea Pollution (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006 (29/2006), s. 34(a), (c), (d), S.I. No. 605 of 2006.

F2

Substituted (8.12.2006) by Sea Pollution (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006 (29/2006), s. 34(b), S.I. No. 605 of 2006.

F3

Inserted (21.12.1995) by Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1995 (35/1995), s. 7, commenced on enactment.

F4

Inserted (8.12.2006) by Sea Pollution (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006 (29/2006), s. 34(a), (c), (d), S.I. No. 605 of 2006.

F5

Inserted (14.06.2007) by Sea Pollution (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006 (29/2006), s. 34(c), S.I. No. 605 of 2006.

F6

Substituted (1.08.2000) by Merchant Shipping (Investigation of Marine Casualties) Act, 2000 (14/2000), s. 45, S.I. No. 252 of 2000.

F7

Inserted (1.09.1999) by Sea Pollution (Amendment) Act 1999 (18/1999), s. 13(a)-(c), S.I. No. 295 of 1999.

F8

Substituted (4.04.2006) by Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006 (8/2006), s. 93(4), commenced on enactment.

F9

Substituted (1.09.1999) by Sea Pollution (Amendment) Act 1999 (18/1999), s. 13(d), S.I. No. 295 of 1999.

Editorial Notes:

E4

Previous affecting provision: subs. (2A) inserted (1.09.1999) by Sea Pollution (Amendment) Act 1999 (18/1999), s. 13(b), S.I. No. 295 of 1999; substituted as per F-note above.

E5

Previous affecting provision: definition of “maritime casualty” amended (1.09.1999) by Sea Pollution (Amendment) Act 1999 (18/1999), s. 13(a)(i), S.I. No. 295 of 1999; substituted as per F-note above.