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Scotland Act 1998

Section D3: Coal
Purpose and Effect

This Section reserves coal, including the regulation of the UK coal industry. The control of pollution and certain other matters are excepted.


General legislative and executive competence is reserved in relation to the UK coal industry, including the ownership of coal reserves, regulation of deep and opencast mining, subsidence, the provision of concessionary coal, and the residual responsibilities of British Coal. This overall reservation is in line with a general reservation of energy matters.

Parliamentary Consideration
Details of Provisions

The reservation covers all legislation relating to coal, including in particular ownership and exploitation, deep and opencast mining and subsidence.  Policy towards the UK coal industry continues to be dealt with on a UK basis by DTI Ministers, in consultation with the Scottish Ministers when appropriate.  Operational matters in relation to coal reserves and the issue of mining licences are for the Coal Authority, which is a GB body and which receives grant in aid from DTI.

Exceptions from Reservation

The exceptions to the reservation relate to the subject-matter of:


Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which makes provision for the control of pollution;


sections 53 and 54 of the Coal Industry Act 1994 which cover environmental duties in relation to planning approval and obligations to restore land affected by coal-mining operations.

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Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


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