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Water Resources Act 1991

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207 Directions in the interests of national security etc.E+W

(1)The Secretary of State may, after consultation with the [F1Agency], give to the [F1Agency] such directions of a general character as appear to the Secretary of State to be requisite or expedient in the interests of national security or for the purpose of mitigating the effects of any civil emergency which may occur.

(2)If it appears to the Secretary of State to be requisite or expedient to do so in the interests of national security or for the purpose of mitigating the effects of any civil emergency which has occurred or may occur, he may, after consultation with the [F1Agency], give to the [F1Agency] a direction requiring it to do, or not to do, a particular thing specified in the direction.

(3)The duty of the [F1Agency] to comply with a direction under this section is a duty which has effect notwithstanding any other duty imposed on it (whether or not by or under this Act).

(4)The Secretary of State shall lay before each House of Parliament a copy of every direction given under this section unless he is of the opinion that disclosure of the direction is against the interests of national security.

(5)A person shall not disclose, or be required by virtue of any enactment or otherwise to disclose, anything done by virtue of this section if the Secretary of State has notified him that the Secretary of State is of the opinion that disclosure of that thing is against the interests of national security.

(6)Any person who discloses any matter in contravention of subsection (5) above shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine or to both.

(7)Any reference in this section to a civil emergency is a reference to any natural disaster or other emergency which, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, is or may be likely, in relation to any area—

(a)so to disrupt water supplies or sewerage services; or

(b)to involve such destruction of or damage to life or property in that area,

as seriously and adversely to affect all the inhabitants of that area, or a substantial number of them, whether by depriving them of any of the essentials of life or otherwise.

(8)In this section “sewerage services” has the same meaning as in the M1Water Industry Act 1991.

Textual Amendments

F1Words in s. 207 substituted (subject to other provisions of the amending Act) (1.4.1996) by 1995 c. 25, s. 120(1), Sch. 22 para. 128 (with ss. 7(6), 115, 117); S.I. 1996/186, art. 3 (with art. 4)

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