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Water Act 2014

Schedule 8: Regulation of the water environment

368.In Schedule 8, Part 1 lists the specific purposes for which the power in section 61 may be used. Part 2 makes supplementary provision.

369.The purposes for which regulations under section 61 may be made closely follow the purposes for which environmental permitting regulations under the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 (“the PPC Act”) may be made. This will enable a single system of environmental regulation to be created, combining regulations under section 61 with regulations under the PPC Act, with common procedural requirements. Schedule 8 provides, for example, that the regulation-making power in section 61 may be used to make regulations requiring those carrying out specified activities to hold permits (paragraph 6); for those permits to contain conditions (paragraphs 8 and 35) which are to be reviewed by the regulator (paragraph 9); for regulators to take enforcement action in relation to permit holders and otherwise (principally paragraphs 13 to 16 and 20 to 25); for the creation of offences (such as failure to comply with permit conditions) (paragraphs 26 and 37); and for rights of appeal (paragraph 29).

370.As under the present regimes, fees will be payable to regulators in relation to the exercise of some of their functions (for example, in relation to the determining of applications for the grant of a permit and for the variation of the conditions of a permit) (paragraphs 11, 12 and 36).

371.Paragraph 30 enables regulations under section 61 to make provision similar to specified existing legislation. Thus, for example, paragraph 30(1) will allow provision to be made that corresponds, or is similar to, provision made by or under, or capable of being made under, section 71 of the WIA (water from water sources), Chapter 2 of Part 2 of the WRA (abstraction and impounding) and Part 1 of the Water Act 2003 (abstraction and impounding). Any existing legislation that is replicated in the regulations in this way may be repealed under section 61.

372.Paragraph 37 allows the regulations to make provision for offences to be tried summarily only or either summarily or on indictment.

373.Sub-paragraph (6) allows regulations to make provision for offences punishable on indictment to provide for imprisonment for a term not exceeding the period specified in the regulations or a maximum of two years or a fine or both.

374.Transitional provision may be made in the regulations to ensure a smooth transition from the existing regime to the new. New activities and those undergoing substantial change probably will be regulated under the new regime set up under the regulations from the date on which the new regime comes into force. Existing licences, consents and permissions will remain extant and/or transition into the new regime.

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