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Control of Pollution Act 1974

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Miscellaneous

46Operations by water authorities to remedy or forestall pollution of water

(1)Where it appears to a water authority that pollution injurious to the fauna or flora of a stream in its area has been caused in consequence of discharges made by virtue of a consent given by the authority in pursuance of section 34 of this Act after the date when this section comes into force or discharges made by virtue of a variation of a consent in pursuance of that section which was made by the authority after that date, then, subject to the following subsection, it shall be the duty of the authority—

(a)to exercise the powers conferred on it by section 37(1) of this Act with a view to ensuring that further discharges of a kind which caused the injurious pollution in question are not made by virtue of the consent or variation or are not so made after such a period as the authority considers necessary for the purpose of allowing a person making discharges by virtue of the consent or variation to secure that the discharges are not of such a kind or to make arrangements for discontinuing the discharges; and

(b)in a case where the authority considers that a period is necessary for the purpose aforesaid, to carry out as soon as reasonably practicable such operations as the authority considers appropriate with a view to remedying or mitigating the injurious pollution in question; and

(c)to carry out, as soon as reasonably practicable or after the expiration of the said period, such operations as are necessary for the purpose of restoring the fauna and flora of the stream, so far as it is reasonably practicable to do so, to the state in which they were immediately before discharges were made by virtue of the consent or variation.

(2)If it appears to a water authority that injurious pollution of a stream in its area has been caused in consequence of discharges made as mentioned in the preceding subsection but that further discharges so made after such a period as the authority considers reasonable in the circumstances will, after the carrying out of such operations as are mentioned in paragraph (c) of that subsection, not cause injurious pollution of the stream, then—

(a)the authority shall not be required by virtue of paragraph (a) of the preceding subsection to exercise the powers there mentioned; but

(b)it shall be the duty of the authority—

(i)to carry out as soon as reasonably practicable such operations as are mentioned in paragraph (b) of the preceding subsection, and

(ii)to carry out, after the expiration of the period mentioned in the preceding provisions of this subsection, such operations as are mentioned in paragraph (c) of the preceding subsection.

(3)The duty imposed on a water authority by virtue of subsection (1)(a) of this section shall be performed notwithstanding anything in subsections (1) and (2) of section 38 of this Act; but—

(a)where in the performance of that duty a notice is served in consequence of which compensation would have been payable in pursuance of subsection (4) of that section if the notice had been served by virtue of subsection (3) of that section, compensation shall be so payable as if the notice had been so served; and

(b)nothing in this section shall be construed as restricting the powers conferred on the Secretary of State by section 37(2) of this Act.

(4)Where it appears to a water authority that any poisonous, noxious or polluting matter or any solid waste matter is likely to enter, or is or was present in, any relevant waters in its area, the authority may, without prejudice to any duty imposed on it by virtue of the preceding provisions of this section, carry out in its area or elsewhere such operations as it considers appropriate—

(a)in a case where the matter appears likely to enter such waters, for the purpose of preventing it from doing so ; and

(b)in a case where the matter appears to be or to have been present in such waters, for the purpose of removing or disposing of the matter or of remedying or mitigating any pollution caused by its presence in the waters or of restoring the waters (including the fauna and flora in them), so far as it is reasonably practicable to do so, to the state in which they were immediately before the matter became present in the waters;

but nothing in this subsection empowers a water authority to impede or prevent the making of any discharge in pursuance of a consent given by any authority by virtue of section 34 of this Act

(5)Where a water authority carries out any operations in pursuance of this section the authority shall, subject to the following subsection, be entitled to recover the costs of doing so—

(a)in the case of operations in pursuance of subsection (1) or (2) of this section, from the persons who made the discharges in question; and

(b)in the case of operations in pursuance of the preceding subsection, from any persons who caused or knowingly permitted the matter in question to be present at the place from which it was likely in the opinion of the authority to enter the relevant waters or, as the case may be, to be present in the relevant waters.

(6)No such costs shall be payable by a person—

(a)in so far as he satisfies the court in which it is sought to recover the costs that the costs were incurred unnecessarily ; or

(b)for any operations in respect of water from an abandoned mine which that person permitted to reach such a place as is mentioned in paragraph (b) of the preceding subsection or to enter relevant waters; or

(c)if he is a person to whom compensation is payable by virtue of subsection (3) of this section in respect of a consent to which the operations in question relate.

(7)In determining the damage which a person has suffered in consequence of pollution in respect of which operations have been or may be carried out in pursuance of this section, account shall be taken of the extent to which it is shown that the damage has been reduced by operations in pursuance of this section and of the extent to which it is shown that the damage is likely to be so reduced.

(8)In this section—

  • " injurious pollution", in relation to a stream, means pollution injurious to the fauna or flora of the stream; and

  • " variation ", in relation to a consent, means a modification in pursuance of subsection (1) of section 37 of this Act . of the conditions to which the consent is subject or, in the case of an unconditional consent, the subjection of the consent to conditions in pursuance of that subsection.

47Duty of water authorities to deal with waste from vessels etc.

(1)It shall be the duty of each water authority—

(a)to arrange for the collection and disposal of waste from vessels in its area which appears to the authority to need collection in consequence of the provisions of section 33 of this Act; and

(b)to arrange for the provision of facilities for the washing out of prescribed appliances from vessels in its area.

(2)A water authority may arrange for the provision of facilities by way of water closets, urinals and wash basins for the use of persons from vessels in the authority's area.

(3)A port health authority shall have power to make arrangements with a water authority for the purposes of any of the preceding provisions of this section.

48Power of water authorities to exclude unregistered vessels from rivers etc.

(1)Where it appears to a water authority to be appropriate to do so for the purpose of preventing the pollution of streams in its area, the authority may make byelaws providing that vessels shall not be on any such streams which are specified in the byelaws unless the vessels are registered by the authority in accordance with the byelaws or are exempted by the byelaws from registration; and a person who causes or knowingly permits a vessel to be on a stream in contravention of byelaws made by virtue of this subsection shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £50.

(2)Byelaws made by a water authority in pursuance of the preceding subsection may authorise the authority to make reasonable charges in respect of the registration of vessels in pursuance of the byelaws; and no charges shall be payable, by persons in or from vessels registered by the authority in pursuance of the byelaws, in respect of the use by those persons of facilities provided in pursuance of the preceding section by or by arrangement with the authority.

49Deposits and vegetation in rivers etc.

(1)If without the consent of the relevant water authority, which shall not be unreasonably withheld.—

(a)a person removes from any part of the channel or bed of a stream a deposit accumulated by reason of any dam, weir or sluice holding back the water of the stream and does so by causing the deposit to be carried away in suspension in the water of the stream ; or

(b)any substantial amount of vegetation cut or uprooted in a stream, or so near to the stream that it falls into it, is allowed to remain in the stream by the wilful default of any person, then, subject to the following subsection, that person shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £200.

(2)Nothing in paragraph (a) of the preceding subsection applies to anything done in the exercise of statutory powers conferred by or under any enactment relating to land drainage, flood prevention or navigation.

(3)Regulations may provide that any reference to a stream in subsection (1) of this section shall be construed as including a reference to such controlled waters as are prescribed for the purposes of that subsection.

(4)Any question as to whether the consent of a water authority in pursuance of subsection (1) of this section is unreasonably withheld shall be determined by the Secretary of State; and any consent given in pursuance of section 4 of the Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) Act 1951 or section 24 of the Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) (Scotland) Act 1951 (which are superseded by this section) shall be treated for the purposes of this section as given in pursuance of this section.

50Investigation of water pollution problems arising from closures of mines

Each water authority shall have power to carry out studies for the purpose of ascertaining—

(a)what problems relating to the pollution of relevant waters may arise or have arisen in consequence of the abandonment of any mine in its area or might arise if any such mine were abandoned ; and

(b)what steps are likely to be appropriate for the purpose of dealing with the problems and what the cost of taking those steps would be.

51Notice to abstain from certain agricultural practices

(1)If a water authority is of opinion that any relevant waters—

(a)have been or are likely to be polluted in consequence of such an act or omission as is first mentioned in section 31(2)(c) of this Act which has occurred at a place in the area of the authority; or

(b)are likely to be polluted if such an act or omission occurs at such a place, the authority may, by an application in writing made to the Secretary of State which specifies the kind of act or omission in question and the reasons for the opinion, request the Secretary of State to serve on the occupier of the place a notice requesting the occupier to prevent acts or omissions of that kind at the place.

(2)It shall be the duty of an authority which makes an application in pursuance of the preceding subsection to serve a copy of the application on the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the occupier of the place to which the application relates and to serve on the said occupier a statement informing him that he may, within the period of twenty-eight days beginning with the date on which the statement is served on him, make representations in writing to the Secretary of State about the application. In the application of this subsection to Scotland the reference to the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food shall be omitted.

(3)Where an application is made to the Secretary of State in pursuance of this section it shall be his duty, after considering any representations about the application which are made to him in pursuance of the preceding subsection—

(a)to serve on the occupier of the place in question the notice requested by the application or a notice containing a request to the occupier which the Secretary of State considers is less restrictive than the request specified in the application or a notice stating that he has rejected the application; and

(b)to serve on the authority in question a copy of the notice which the Secretary of State has served in pursuance of the preceding paragraph.

(4)It shall be the duty of a water authority which is required by virtue of section 41(1)(e) of this Act to maintain a register containing particulars of notices of which copies have been served on the authority in pursuance of the preceding subsection to enter in the register, forthwith after the service on the authority of each such copy other than a copy of a notice of rejection of an application, particulars of the notice and a statement of the date on which it was served on the authority.

(5)If the Secretary of State considers that a notice served in pursuance of subsection (3) of this section on the occupier of a place should be cancelled he may, after giving notice of his proposal to do so to the water authority on whose application the other notice was served and considering any representations made to him by the authority about the proposal, serve on the occupier of the place a further notice cancelling the other notice at a time specified in the further notice; and where the Secretary of State serves a notice in pursuance of this subsection—

(a)it shall be his duty to serve a copy of it on the authority aforesaid; and

(b)it shall be the duty of the authority to enter in the said register a statement that the other notice was or is to be cancelled at the time specified as aforesaid.

52Charges in respect of certain discharges in England and Wales

(1)The Secretary of State may, by an order made after consultation with the National Water Council, provide that sections 30 and 31 of the Water Act 1973 (which among other things relate to charges for facilities provided by water authorities and to schemes for the payment of the charges) shall apply to discharges of trade or sewage effluent which are made or authorised to be made by virtue of a consent given in pursuance of this Act or the Public Health (Drainage of Trade Premises) Act 1937 as those sections apply to facilities provided by water authorities; and any such order may—

(a)provide that, in the said section 30 as applied by the order, subsection (4) (under which regard is to be had to the cost of providing facilities in fixing charges for the facilities) and references to that subsection shall be omitted; and

(b)repeal sections 59(1)(e) and 61(4) of the Public Health Act 1961 (which provide for conditions relating to charges to be attached to consents for discharges which are given in pursuance of the said Act of 1937).

(2)An order made in pursuance of the preceding subsection—

(a)shall include provision for appeals to the Secretary of State in respect of charges payable to a water authority by virtue of that subsection ; and

(b)may include provision for the giving by the Secretary of State in consequence of an appeal of directions in respect of the charges to the authority or any other party to the appeal (including directions as to the charges which are to be payable in respect of any period before the determination of the appeal); and the Secretary of State may by order vary or revoke any provisions which by virtue of this subsection or section 104(1)(a) of this Act are contained in an order made in pursuance of this section.

(3)This section does not apply to Scotland.

53Charges in respect of certain discharges in Scotland

(1)The Secretary of State may, by an order made after consultation with such bodies representative of local authorities, river purification authorities, industry and agriculture as he thinks fit, provide that a river purification authority shall have power to fix, and to demand, take and recover, such charges in respect of discharges of trade or sewage effluent which are made or authorised to be made by virtue of a consent given in pursuance of this Act as the river purification authority thinks fit.

(2)An order made in pursuance of the preceding subsection may include provision—

(a)regulating the manner in which the charges are to be imposed;

(b)with respect to the criteria by reference to which the charges are to be fixed, the system by which the amount of the charges is to be calculated and the matters to which a river purification authority is to have regard in fixing the charges ;

(c)empowering a river purification authority to make different charges in respect of the same kind of discharge in different cases, so however that the charges are such as not to show undue preference to, or discriminate unduly against, any class of persons;

(d)empowering a river purification authority, if it introduces a new system of charges, to make such transitional charging arrangements as it thinks fit applying for a period not exceeding five years.

(3)An order made in pursuance of subsection (1) of this section—

(a)shall include provision for appeals to the Secretary of State in respect of charges payable to a river purification authority by virtue of the order; and

(b)may include provision for the giving by the Secretary of State in consequence of an appeal of directions in respect of the charges to the authority or any other party to the appeal (including directions as to the charges which are to be payable in respect of any period before the determination of the appeal);

and the Secretary of State may by order vary or revoke any provisions which by virtue of this subsection or section 104(1)(a) of this Act are contained in an order made in pursuance of this section.

(4)This section applies to Scotland only.

54Exclusion of certain liability in respect of discharges etc with consent

Any entry of matter into a stream or controlled waters which—

(a)is authorised by a consent given in pursuance of this Part of this Act and is in accordance with the conditions (if any) to which the consent is subject; or

(b)is a consequence of an act which is so authorised and in accordance with such conditions;

shall not constitute an offence under section 8 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1923 or section 68 of the Public Health Act 1875.

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