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Explanatory Memorandum to Water and Sewerage Services (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 2006

Commentary on Articles

24.Article 5 of the Order makes several amendments to the 1999 Order

25.Paragraph (2) of Article 5 provides for the substitution of Article 20 of the 1999 Order which already confers powers on DOE to make regulations in connection with the abstraction and impounding of water. The new Article restates many of the enabling powers in the current Article 20. However, it also extends the purposes for which such regulations can be made to include controlling, restricting or prohibiting the operation of impounding works.

26.It introduces new provisions relating to the taking of prescribed steps for preventative or remedial action and confers on courts power to order the taking of remedial action. New provisions are also provided relating to access to carry out works on land owned or occupied by another person, and for the payment of compensation in connection with such access. It also provides for the increase in the level of fines capable of being imposed, and for the initiation of proceedings in the Crown Court.

27.Paragraph (3) of Article 5 amends Article 21(1) of the 1999 Order to include the licensing of the operation of impounding works, and the surrender of abstraction licences as matters for which DOE may require payment. Paragraphs (4) and (5) of Article 5 provide that certain information associated with the application for or subsistence of a licence is admissible as evidence in any court proceedings.

28.Paragraphs (6) and (7) of Article 5 amend Article 28 of the 1999 Order to empower DOE to issue directions to operators of impounding works, in order to obtain information. This replicates the existing provision in connection with abstraction and discharge.

29.Paragraph (8) of Article 5 amends Article 29(b) of the 1999 Order to apply the penalties for false information to abstraction and impounding licences.

30.Paragraph (9) of Article 5 enables DOE to provide, in regulations, that prescribed matters relating to the abstraction and impounding of water must be recorded in a register which is available to the public.

31.Paragraph (10) of Article 5 adds a new Article 38A to the 1999 Order to bind the Crown to the provisions of Article 20 and any regulations made under it. The main purpose of this provision is to enable abstraction licences to be granted to DRD’s Water Service prior to the proposed transfer of responsibility for water and sewerage services to a Government owned company on 1 April 2007.

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