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Environmental Better Regulation Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Section 6: Interpretation

Section 6 defines terms used in Part 1 of the Act. It includes definitions of:

  • “environmental activities” (to cover activities that are capable of causing, or liable to cause, environmental harm); and

  • “environmental harm” (to cover a wide range of matters, including-

    • harm to the quality of the environment such as might be caused by, for example, polluting activities, and

    • offence to the senses of human beings such as might be caused by, for example, excessive noise or unpleasant odours or stenches).

In this context, “activities” is also defined, so that it covers a broad range of matters including the production, treatment, keeping, transportation, depositing or disposal of substances.

The effect is that the Act enables the regulation under section 2 of a wide range of matters relating to environmental activities, and the prevention of environmental harm.

The definitions of “environmental harm” and “protecting and improving the environment” make reference to “ecosystems”. An ecosystem is a very wide ranging term and can be defined as including all of the living things (plants, animals and organisms) in a given area, interacting with each other, and also with their non-living environments (weather, earth, sun, soil, climate, atmosphere).

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly 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 accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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