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Energy Act 2008

Section 53: Power to review operation of programme

262.This section gives the Secretary of State the power to review an approved funded programme and, as part of this, to request information about the programme from the site operator or any other person who has obligations under the programme. The power can be used at any stage in the programme’s life, including any period up until the point at which the site is returned to the agreed end state and the waste disposed of as defined by the decommissioning programme. The power is only applicable to information relevant to a particular site.

263.Subsection (3) provides that the Secretary of State may only request information for the purpose of determining whether:

  • the programme is being complied with;

  • it will be possible for the persons with obligations under the programme at a point in the future to comply with them;

  • the programme makes prudent provision for the technical matters (including the financing of the designated technical matters) (as defined in section 45).

264.Subsection (5) authorises the Secretary of State to require information from the site operator, any other person with obligations under an approved programme or a body corporate associated with the site operator, for the purpose of enabling the Secretary of State to decide whether to propose a modification under section 48 or the nature of any modification to be proposed. The information can be required if the Secretary of State has reason to believe that:

  • the programme is not being complied with

  • it will not be possible for obligations under the programme arising at a future date to be complied with

  • the programme does not make prudent provision for the matters mentioned in subsection (3)(c).

265.Subsection (6) allows the Secretary of State to charge a fee to the site operator for the costs incurred in obtaining advice in relation to the information obtained. Subsection (7) provides the fee must be paid at the time determined in regulations under section 54.

266.Subsections (8) and (9) allow the Secretary of State to apply to the High Court for a court order where a person has failed to comply with the Secretary of State’s request. If the application is successful the court may order a person to comply with the requirement.

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