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The Water Resources (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017

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3.—(1) An environmental impact assessment must be carried out in accordance with these Regulations in relation to a relevant project.

(2) A project is a relevant project if—

(a)it is a water management project for agriculture, including an irrigation project; and

(b)it would be likely to have significant effects on the environment by virtue, inter alia, of its nature, size or location.

(3) A project is not a relevant project if it—

(a)constitutes development to which the Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017(1) apply;

(b)constitutes the carrying out of drainage works within the meaning of the Drainage (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001(2);

(c)involves the abstraction, diversion or impoundment of less than 200 cubic metres of water in any period of 24 hours; or

(d)is exempt as a consequence of a determination made in accordance with paragraphs (4) or (5).

(4) The Department may determine that a relevant project, or a project which may be a relevant project, is exempt where the circumstances are exceptional and it considers that—

(a)an environmental impact assessment would have an adverse effect on the purpose of the project; and

(b)the objectives of the Directive will still be met even though such an assessment is not carried out.

(5) The Department may determine that a relevant project, or a project which may be a relevant project, is exempt if—

(a)the project has response to a civil emergency as its sole purpose; and

(b)the Department considers that an environmental impact assessment in respect of the project would have an adverse effect on the fulfilment of that purpose.

(6) Where the Department makes a determination that a relevant project, or a project which may be a relevant project, is exempt in accordance with paragraph (4), it must—

(a)consider whether another form of assessment of the likely significant effects on the environment of the project is appropriate; and

(b)make available to the public concerned—

(i)the determination including an explanation of the reasons for it; and

(ii)the information obtained in accordance with any other assessments referred to in sub-paragraph (a).

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