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The Storage of Carbon Dioxide (Licensing etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

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Inspections and enforcement

Inspections

15.—(1) The authority shall carry out an inspection (a “routine inspection”) of a storage complex—

(a)during the initial period—

(i)no later than one year from the date that period commences; and

(ii)subsequently, no later than one year from the date of the immediately previous inspection; and

(b)during the post-closure period—

(i)no later than five years from the date that period commences; and

(ii)subsequently, no later than five years from the date of the immediately previous inspection.

(2) A routine inspection shall include an examination of—

(a)the injection and monitoring facilities; and

(b)the effects from the storage complex on the environment and human health.

(3) The authority shall carry out an inspection of a storage complex if—

(a)the authority becomes aware of—

(i)leakages or significant irregularities; or

(ii)a breach of the terms or conditions of the storage permit; or

(b)a complaint is made to the authority about the effects from the storage complex on the environment or human health, unless the authority is of the opinion that the complaint is frivolous or vexatious.

(4) The authority may carry out an inspection other than when required under paragraph (1) or (3) as the authority considers appropriate.

(5) An inspection carried out pursuant to paragraph (3) or (4)—

(a)does not constitute a routine inspection for the purposes of paragraph (1); but

(b)may be carried out simultaneously with a routine inspection.

(6) In this regulation, in relation to a storage complex—

(a)“initial period” means the period commencing on the date on which injection commences at the storage site and ending on the third anniversary of the date of closure of the storage site;

(b)“monitoring facilities” means facilities used for the carrying out of a programme of monitoring pursuant to the provisions in the storage permit included by virtue of regulation 9(1)(g) and paragraph 2 of Schedule 2;

(c)“post-closure period” means the period commencing on the day after the third anniversary of the date of closure of the storage site and ending on the date on which the relevant licence is terminated;

(d)“year” means a period of twelve months.

Inspectors

16.—(1) Subject to paragraph (3), an inspector may exercise any of the powers set out in Schedule 3 to assist the authority in carrying out its functions under Chapter 3 or these Regulations, including—

(a)investigating whether—

(i)the provisions of a licence, storage permit or any consent granted under a licence; or

(ii)any requirements, restrictions or prohibitions imposed by or under Chapter 3 or these Regulations,

have been, or are being, complied with; and

(b)monitoring the effects of activities authorised by or under a licence or from a storage complex on the environment or human health.

(2) An inspector shall report to the authority in such manner as the authority may direct.

(3) Before exercising any of the powers set out in Schedule 3, an inspector shall on request produce evidence of appointment.

Inspection reports

17.—(1) The authority shall prepare a written report (an “inspection report”) of the results of an inspection.

(2) An inspection report shall include—

(a)the authority’s assessment of whether or not, in respect of the storage complex inspected—

(i)the provisions of a licence, storage permit or any consent granted under a licence; and

(ii)any requirements, restrictions or prohibitions imposed by or under Chapter 3 or these Regulations,

have been, or are being, complied with; and

(b)a statement as to what action (if any) the authority considers is required to ensure such compliance.

(3) A statement made in an inspection report pursuant to paragraph (2)(b) does not preclude the authority from requiring the licence holder, operator or any other person to take any other action.

(4) The authority shall within two months of the completion of an inspection—

(a)provide a copy of the inspection report to the operator of the relevant storage complex; and

(b)make the inspection report available for inspection by the public.

Offences

18.—(1) It is an offence for a person—

(a)wilfully to obstruct an inspector in the exercise of the powers or duties conferred on the inspector by these Regulations;

(b)without reasonable excuse, to fail to comply with a requirement imposed under Schedule 3 or to prevent another person from complying with such a requirement; or

(c)knowingly or recklessly to give information which is false or misleading in a material particular where the information is given in purported compliance with any requirement imposed under Schedule 3 for the supply of information to an inspector.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under paragraph (1) is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum; or

(b)on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

(3) For the purposes of this regulation, section 20(2) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 applies with the omission of the words “the liability of whose members is limited”; and where the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members, applies in relation to the acts or defaults of a member in connection with the member’s functions of management as if the member were a director of the body corporate.

(4) Where the commission by any person of an offence under this regulation is due to the act or fault of some other person, that other person may be charged with and convicted of the offence by virtue of this paragraph whether or not proceedings for the offence are taken against the first-mentioned person.

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