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Water Resources Act 1991

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161 Anti-pollution works and operations.E+W

(1)[F1Subject to subsections (1A) and (2) below] where it appears to the [F2Agency] that any poisonous, noxious or polluting matter or any solid waste matter is likely to enter, or to be or to have been present in, any controlled waters, the [F2Agency]shall be entitled to carry out the following works and operations, that is to say-

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

(b)in a case where the matter appears to be or to have been present in any controlled waters, works and operations for the purpose—

(i)of removing or disposing of the matter;

(ii)of remedying or mitigating any pollution caused by its presence in the waters; or

(iii)so far as it is reasonably practicable to do so, of restoring the waters, including any flora and fauna dependent on the aquatic environment of the waters, to their state immediately before the matter became present in the waters.

[F3and, in either case, the Agency shall be entitled to carry out investigations for the purpose of establishing the source of the matter and the identity of the person who has caused or knowingly permitted it to be present in controlled waters or at a place from which it was likely, in the opinion of the Agency, to enter controlled waters.]

[F4(1A)Without prejudice to the power of the Agency to carry out investigations under subsection (1) above, the power conferred by that subsection to carry out works and operations shall only be exercisable in a case where—

(a)the Agency considers it necessary to carry out forthwith any works or operations falling within paragraph (a) or (b) of that subsection; or

(b)it appears to the Agency, after reasonable inquiry, that no person can be found on whom to serve a works notice under section 161A below.]

(2)Nothing in subsection (1) above shall entitle the [F2Agency] to impede or prevent the making of any discharge in pursuance of a consent given under Chapter II of Part III of this Act.

(3)Where the [F2Agency] carries out any such works [F5operations or investigations]as are mentioned in subsection (1) above, it shall, subject to subsection (4) below, be entitled to recover the expenses reasonably incurred in doing so from any person who, as the case may be—

(a)caused or knowingly permitted the matter in question to be present at the place from which it was likely, in the opinion of the [F2Agency], to enter any controlled waters; or

(b)caused or knowingly permitted the matter in question to be present in any controlled waters.

(4)No such expenses shall be recoverable from a person for any works [F6operations or investigations] in respect of water from an abandoned mine [F7or an abandoned part of a mine]which that person permitted to reach such a place as is mentioned in subsection (3) above or to enter any controlled waters.

[F8(4A)Subsection (4) above shall not apply to the owner or former operator of any mine or part of a mine if the mine or part in question became abandoned after 31st December 1999.

(4B)Subsections (3B) and (3C) of section 89 above shall apply in relation to subsections (4) and (4A) above as they apply in relation to subsections (3) and (3A) of that section.]

(5)Nothing in this section—

(a)derogates from any right of action or other remedy (whether civil or criminal) in proceedings instituted otherwise than under this section; or

(b)affects any restriction imposed by or under any other enactment, whether public, local or private.

(6)In this section—

  • controlled waters” has the same meaning as in Part III of this Act; and

  • [F9expenses” includes costs;]

  • mine” has the same meaning as in the M1Mines and Quarries Act 1954.

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Amendments (Textual)

F1Words in s. 161(1) substituted (29.4.1999) by 1995 c. 25, s. 120, Sch. 22 para. 161(2) (with ss. 7(6), 115, 117); S.I. 1999/1301, art. 2

F2Word in s. 161 substituted (subject to the other provisions of the amending Act) (1.4.1996) by 1995 c. 25, s. 120, Sch. 22 para. 128 (with ss. 7(6), 115, 117); S.I. 1996/186, art. 3

F3Words in s. 161(1) inserted (1.7.1997) by 1995 c. 25, s. 60(3) (with ss. 7(6), 115, 117); S.I. 1997/1626, art. 2 (with transitional provisions in art. 3)

F5Words in s. 161(3) substituted (1.7.1997) by 1995 c. 25, s. 60(4) (with ss. 7(6), 115, 117); S.I. 1997/1626, art. 2 (with transitional provisions in art. 3)

F6Words in s. 161(4) substituted (1.7.1997) by 1995 c. 25, s. 60(5)(a) (with ss. 7(6), 115, 117); S.I. 1997/1626, art. 2 (with transitional provisions in art. 3)

F7Words in s. 161(4) inserted (1.7.1998) by 1995 c. 25, s. 60(5)(b) (with ss. 7(6), 115, 117); S.I. 1998/604, art. 3

F9Definition of “expenses” in s. 161(6) inserted (1.7.1997) by 1995 c. 25, s. 60(7) (with ss. 7(6), 115, 117); S.I. 1997/1626, art. 2 (with transitional provisions in art. 3)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 161 amended (27.8.1993) by 1993 c. 12, ss. 40, 51(2), Sch. 3 Pt. I para. 9 (with s. 46).

s. 161 applied (with modifications) (21.7.1994) by 1994 c. xiii, s. 14

ss. 161-161D modified (1.2.1996) by 1995 c. 25, s. 5(5)(g) (with ss. 7(6), 115, 117); S.I. 1996/186, art. 2

Marginal Citations

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