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Water Resources Act 1991

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89 Other defences to principal offences.E+W

(1)A person shall not be guilty of an offence under section 85 above in respect of the entry of any matter into any waters or any discharge if—

(a)the entry is caused or permitted, or the discharge is made, in an emergency in order to avoid danger to life or health;

(b)that person takes all such steps as are reasonably practicable in the circumstances for minimising the extent of the entry or discharge and of its polluting effects; and

(c)particulars of the entry or discharge are furnished to the [F1Agency] as soon as reasonably practicable after the entry occurs.

(2)A person shall not be guilty of an offence under section 85 above by reason of his causing or permitting any discharge of trade or sewage effluent from a vessel.

(3)A person shall not be guilty of an offence under section 85 above by reason only of his permitting water from an abandoned mine [F2or an abandoned part of a mine]to enter controlled waters.

[F3(3A)Subsection (3) 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.

(3B)In determining for the purposes of subsection (3A) above whether a mine or part of a mine became abandoned before, on or after 31st December 1999 in a case where the mine or part has become abandoned on two or more occasions, of which—

(a)at least one falls on or before that date, and

(b)at least one falls after that date,

the mine or part shall be regarded as becoming abandoned after that date (but without prejudice to the operation of subsection (3) above in relation to that mine or part at, or in relation to, any time before the first of those occasions which falls after that date).

(3C)Where, immediately before a part of a mine becomes abandoned, that part is the only part of the mine not falling to be regarded as abandoned for the time being, the abandonment of that part shall not be regarded for the purposes of subsection (3A) or (3B) above as constituting the abandonment of the mine, but only of that part of it.]

(4)A person shall not, otherwise than in respect of the entry of any poisonous, noxious or polluting matter into any controlled waters, be guilty of an offence under section 85 above by reason of his depositing the solid refuse of a mine or quarry on any land so that it falls or is carried into inland freshwaters if—

(a)he deposits the refuse on the land with the consent of the [F1Agency];

(b)no other site for the deposit is reasonably practicable; and

(c)he takes all reasonably practicable steps to prevent the refuse from entering those inland freshwaters.

(5)A highway authority or other person entitled to keep open a drain by virtue of section 100 of the M1Highways Act 1980 shall not be guilty of an offence under section 85 above by reason of his causing or permitting any discharge to be made from a drain kept open by virtue of that section unless the discharge is made in contravention of a prohibition imposed under section 86 above.

(6)In this section “mine” and “quarry” have the same meanings as in the M2Mines and Quarries Act 1954.

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Amendments (Textual)

F1Words in s. 89 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

F2Words in s. 89(3) inserted (subject to other provisions of the amending Act) (1.7.1998) by 1995 c. 25, s. 60(1) (with ss. 7(6), 115, 117); S.I. 1998/604, art. 3

F3S. 89(3A)-(3C) inserted (subject to other provisions of the amending Act) (1.7.1998) by 1995 c. 25, s. 60(2) (with ss. 7(6), 115, 117); S.I. 1998/604, art. 3

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