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Energy Act 2004

Sections 95 to 98: Safety zones for installations

252.These sections give a discretionary power to the Secretary of State to issue a notice declaring one or more safety zones around a renewable energy installation. The Secretary of State has the flexibility to declare a safety zone as appropriate for the main stages of the life of renewable energy installation - the construction, extension and decommissioning phases, which are relatively short, as well as the longer operational phase. A notice can be issued where the renewable energy installation is at the proposal stage in regard to its construction, extension, operation or decommissioning or equally when these activities are in progress.

253.They also give the Secretary of State the flexibility to state in the notice which activities are prohibited within a safety zone or how such matters are to be determined, and which vessels may enter or remain in the safety zone or carry on prohibited activities. Determinations under a safety zone notice may be made by the Secretary of State or delegated to some other person.

254.Section 96 prohibits vessels from entering or remaining in a safety zone and carrying out activities except where permitted to do so by a notice declaring a safety zone. The Secretary of State also has the power to make regulations setting out general permissions allowing vessels to enter any safety zone and carry out activities. This is in addition to any individual permissions granted in the notice declaring that safety zone.

255.Section 97 makes it an offence for a vessel to enter or remain in a safety zone and for activities to be carried on there unless permission has been given in an individual safety notice or regulations made by the Secretary of State. The section sets out certain defences. Section 98 extends criminal responsibility to certain persons other than the master or owner of the vessel who were responsible for the commission of the offence.

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