Waste Management Act 1996

Amendment of Local Government (Water Pollution) Act, 1977.

66

66. (1) The Local Government (Water Pollution) Act, 1977, is hereby amended by the insertion of the following section after section 26:

“Regulations for the prevention or limitation of water pollution.

26A.— (1) For the purpose of preventing or limiting water pollution, the Minister may, by regulations, prohibit or limit or control in a specified manner and to a specified extent, the production, treatment, use (in a process or otherwise), importation, distribution, storage, transport, supply or sale of any specified substance or of any article containing any specified substance.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), regulations under this section may—

( a) make different provisions for different substances or articles,

( b) require local authorities or other specified persons to take specified steps for the purposes of securing compliance with the regulations,

( c) contain such incidental, consequential and supplementary provisions as appear to the Minister to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of such regulations.

(3) ( a) A person who contravenes a provision of regulations under this section shall be guilty of an offence.

( b) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(i) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or, at the discretion of the court, to both such fine and such imprisonment, or

(ii) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding £25,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or, at the discretion of the court, to both such fine and such imprisonment.

(4) A prosecution for an offence under this section may be taken by the Minister, a local authority, or such other person as may be specified in regulations under this section.”.

(2) Section 3 of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act, 1977, is hereby amended by the substitution for subsection (3) (inserted by the Local Government (Water Pollution) (Amendment) Act, 1990) of the following subsection:

“(3) It shall be a defence to a charge of committing an offence under this section for the accused to prove that he took all reasonable care to prevent the entry to waters to which the charge relates by providing, maintaining, using, operating and supervising facilities, or by employing practices or methods of operation, that were suitable for the purpose of such prevention, and, where appropriate, that the entry to waters to which the charge relates arose from an activity carried on in accordance with a nutrient management plan approved under section 21A (inserted by the Waste Management Act, 1996) of the Local Government (Water Pollution) (Amendment) Act, 1990.”.

(3) The Local Government (Water Pollution) (Amendment) Act, 1990, is hereby amended by the insertion of the following section after section 21:

“Nutrient Management Plans.

21A.— (1) Subject to subsection (2), whenever a local authority considers that, for the purposes of preventing, eliminating or minimising the entry of polluting matter to waters from an activity referred to in section 21 (1) ( b) (being an activity that is carried on in its functional area) it is necessary to do so, it may serve a notice in writing under this section on—

( a) the owner of the land on which the activity is carried on, or

( b) if the owner of the said land is not in occupation thereof, the person who is in occupation of the said land, requiring the person to prepare and furnish to it for its approval under this section a plan (in this section referred to as a ‘ nutrient management plan’) in relation to the activity within a specified period, being a period of not less than 5 months beginning on the date of service of the notice.

(2) A notice under subsection (1) shall not be served on a person in relation to an activity the carrying on of which requires the grant of a licence under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992.

(3) Before a local authority decides to exercise the power conferred by subsection (1), (whether generally as respects activities referred to in section 21 (1) ( b) carried on on lands in its functional area or as respects such activities carried on on lands in a particular part of its functional area) it shall consult with such body or bodies as may be prescribed for the purposes of this subsection.

(4) A notice under this section—

( a) shall require that the nutrient management plan—

(i) provide such particulars of the activity concerned as are specified in the notice,

(ii) specify the quantities of such nutrients in animal and other waste as are specified in the notice (which may include nutrients in waste as aforesaid produced from sources other than the land concerned) which it is estimated will be used in each year of the relevant period on the land concerned,

(iii) provide that a determination of the types and concentration of nutrients in the soil of the land concerned shall be made in accordance with a programme of sampling and analysis to be determined by the local authority after consultation with the person on whom the notice is served (hereafter in this section referred to as ‘ the relevant person’),

(iv) specify the maximum quantities of such nutrients as are specified in the notice that, in the opinion of the relevant person, having regard to each of the matters referred to in subsection (5), ought, in each year of the relevant period, to be applied to, or injected into, the land concerned, or such parts thereof as are specified in the notice, or applied to crops growing on that land or such parts as are so specified,

(v) specify the times during the relevant period when the application to, or the injection into, the land concerned, or the application to crops growing thereon, of animal and other waste and chemical fertiliser ought, and ought not, in the opinion of the relevant person, to be carried out, having regard to any crop requirements and the objective of preventing, eliminating or minimising the loss of nutrients to waters,

(vi) require the keeping and maintenance of records in respect of each year, or, in the case of the matters referred to in clause (III), the year or years concerned, of the relevant period, containing such particulars as may be determined by the local authority after consultation with the relevant person in relation to—

(I) the doing of the following things during the year concerned by the said person, namely—

(A) the production, treatment, receiving from, or transfer to, another person by him of animal or other waste,

(B) the application to, or the injection into, the land concerned or the application to crops growing thereon, by him of animal or other waste and the times and rates at which such application or injection is carried out,

(II) the types and quantities of chemical fertiliser applied to the land concerned during the year concerned and the times and rates at which such application is carried out,

(III) the results of the determination referred to in subparagraph (iii) made in relation to the land concerned and, as the case may be, of any further determination of such kind made, pursuant to a requirement under paragraph ( b) (ii), during the year concerned,

(vii) require such information in relation to the matters referred to in this paragraph and, as the case may be, paragraph ( b), as is specified in the notice to be furnished to the local authority,

( b) may require that the nutrient management plan—

(i) shall require the keeping and maintenance of records in respect of each year of the relevant period containing particulars as may be determined by the local authority after consultation with the relevant person of the concentration of such nutrients in animal or other waste as are specified in the notice that have been applied to, or injected into, the land concerned during the year concerned,

(ii) shall provide that a further determination of the kind referred to in paragraph ( a) (iii) (whether in respect of nutrients generally or nutrients of a class specified in a notice served by the local authority on the relevant person for the purposes of this sub-paragraph) shall be made at specified intervals after the determination referred to in that provision has been made,

(iii) shall address such other matters as the local authority considers necessary for the purpose of preventing, eliminating or minimising the entry of nutrients to waters from the activity concerned and specifies in the notice.

(5) The matters referred to in subsection (4) ( a) (iv) are—

( a) the nature of the activity concerned,

( b) the type of soil concerned and the types and concentration of nutrients in that soil,

( c) the types of crop previously grown on the land concerned and the types of nutrient previously applied to, or injected into, that land and the rates of such application or injection, where relevant,

( d) the types of crop grown or to be grown on the land concerned,

( e) the intensity of the stocking of animals (if any) on the land concerned and of any other agricultural activities carried on on that land, and

( f) the need to make efficient use of nutrients having regard to any crop requirements and the objective of preventing, eliminating or minimising the loss of nutrients to waters.

(6) In subsection (4) and the subsequent provisions of this section ‘ the relevant period’ means the period of 12 months, or such longer period as may be specified in the notice concerned under subsection (1) or (8), as appropriate, beginning on the date that is 2 months after the approval of the nutrient management plan concerned under this section by the relevant local authority.

(7) A local authority may, as respects a nutrient management plan prepared and furnished to it in accordance with a notice under subsection (1), refuse to approve of the plan or approve thereof without modifications or make such modifications therein as it considers proper and approve of the plan as so modified.

(8) ( a) A local authority, where it refuses to approve of a nutrient management plan under subsection (7), may, by service of a notice in writing on the person who furnished the plan to it, require that person to prepare and furnish to it another such plan and subsection (3) and the other provisions of this section shall apply to such a notice and such a plan as they apply to a notice under subsection (1) and a plan furnished to it pursuant to a notice under that subsection.

( b) The reference in subsection (2) to a notice under subsection (1) includes a reference to a notice under this subsection.

(9) If, upon the expiration of the period of 2 months from the date of receipt by it of a nutrient management plan prepared and furnished in accordance with a notice under this section, the local authority concerned has neither given a decision under subsection (7) to refuse to approve of the plan nor a decision thereunder to approve of the plan (by either of the means referred to in that subsection), the local authority shall be deemed to have approved of the plan under that subsection.

(10) A nutrient management plan may, with the prior written consent of the local authority which approved of the plan under this section, be varied during the relevant period.

(11) A person who fails to comply with a notice under subsection (1) or (8) within the period specified in the notice shall be guilty of an offence and be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or to both.

(12) Proceedings for an offence under this section may be brought by the local authority which served the notice concerned.”.