Section 17 – River Basin District Advisory Groups
69.This section provides for the establishment of River Basin District Advisory Groups. Subsection (1) provides that at least one such Group must be established for each river basin district. Subsection (2) provides that the function of each of the advisory groups is to advise SEPA on any matter which relates to the preparation of river basin management plans for the district and is within the remit of the group. Subsection (5) provides that SEPA may determine the remit of an Advisory Group by reference to a particular sub-basin plan, a particular geographical area, or any other particular aspect of water management within the district.
70.Subsection (3) requires SEPA, in preparing a river basin management plan, to have regard to any advice given by an Advisory Group. Subsection (4) provides that the number of Advisory Groups, their remits, membership and procedure, are to be such as SEPA may determine. In determining the number of Advisory Groups for any river basin district and their remits and memberships, subsection (6) provides that SEPA must seek to ensure appropriate representation of the interests of the persons specified or referred to in section 11(6)(a) to (h). SEPA may pay such expenses and allowances to members of an Advisory Group as it considers appropriate.