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Flood and Water Management Act 2010

High-risk reservoirs

287.Paragraphs 7 and 8 insert new sections 2A to 2E after section 2 of the Reservoirs Act 1975 and make consequential amendments to the Act.

288.New section 2A(1) requires the Environment Agency, as soon as reasonably practicable after a large raised reservoir has been registered under new section 2(2B), to consider whether it is to be designated as a “high-risk reservoir”. Where the Environment Agency proposes to designate a large raised reservoir as a high-risk reservoir, it must notify the undertaker of its provisional designation, including the reasons for this designation, and how and within what period representations to the Environment Agency can be made (section 2A(2) and (3)).

289.New section 2B(1) empowers the Environment Agency to designate a large raised reservoir as a high risk one by giving notice confirming a provisional designation.

290.New section 2C sets out the criteria by reference to which the Environment Agency may determine that a large raised reservoir is a high-risk reservoir. Under subsection (1) of new section 2C the Environment Agency may determine that a large raised reservoir is a high-risk reservoir if the Environment Agency thinks that, in the event of an uncontrolled release of water from the reservoir, human life could be endangered unless the reservoir satisfies any conditions specified in regulations that may be made by the Minister. Subsection (2) of new section 2C gives an indication of the conditions that may be specified in regulations made under new section 2C(1)(b).

291.The undertaker of a high-risk reservoir will be required to comply with sections 10, 11 and 12 of the Reservoirs Act 1975 (as amended), whereas the undertaker of a large reservoir that is not so designated will not.

292.New section 2D requires the Environment Agency to carry out a review in relation to a large raised reservoir that has not been designated as a high-risk reservoir following its registration if it later thinks that it may be appropriate to designate the reservoir as a high-risk reservoir. Such a review may be appropriate where development has taken place downstream or alterations to the reservoir have affected the reservoir’s inundation zone. The Environment Agency must also carry out a review if it thinks that the designation of a large raised reservoir as a high-risk reservoir may have ceased to be appropriate. The procedure that applies in relation to the designation of a large raised reservoir as a high-risk reservoir following a review is the same as the procedure that applies following its registration.

293.New section 2E requires the Minister to make regulations providing a right of appeal against designations made under new section 2B. The regulations must define which person or body has jurisdiction in relation to the appeal and set out the appeal procedure. Under subsection (3) of new section 2E a designation is suspended pending the outcome of the appeal. The first set of regulations made under section 2E is subject to the affirmative resolution procedure; otherwise regulations made under this section are subject to the negative resolution procedure (see paragraph 38 of Schedule 4).

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