Edie Environmental Legislation Summary (April 06)

Recent changes to legislation which will impact on the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy. Among the developments this month we see revisions to EU clean water rules with a new version of the Bathing Water Directive, while in the UK new ETS allocation rules provide for pre-2004 installations.

EUROPEAN LEGISLATION

Bathing Waters Directive

The revised Bathing Waters Directive (Directive 2006/7/EC concerning the management of bathing water quality and repealing Directive 76/160/EC) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 4 March 2006. Member States are required to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Directive by 24 March 2008.

The new revised Bathing Waters Directive makes provision for the monitoring and classification of bathing water quality, the management of bathing water quality, and the provision of information to the public on bathing water quality. The revised Directive streamlines the parameters for setting water quality standards, focuses on fewer microbiological indicators and sets stricter standards. The revised Directive aims to be coherent with other EU water related legislation, in particular the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC).

Directive 76/160/EC will be repealed with effect from 31 December 2014, though as soon as a Member States takes all the necessary legal, administrative and practical measures to comply with the revised Directive, the revised Directive will be applicable, thus replacing Directive 76/160/EC.

The full text of the new revised Bathing Waters Directive can be found at the following link:
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Proposed Directive on Energy End-Use Efficiency and Energy Services

EU Energy Ministers have approved the proposed Directive on energy end-use efficiency and energy services (COM (2003) 739). The Energy Council gave its approval on 14 March 2006 to the amended proposal for the Directive as presented by the Commission. The Commission had accepted in full all 49 amendments adopted by the European Parliament, which were the result of a compromise package agreed between the European Parliament and the Council for the second reading and were in line with the objectives of the Commission's proposal. The amendments also introduced mandatory elements that compensate for the lack of a binding energy savings target and a separate target for the public sector. The conclusion of the compromise package has been facilitated by the introduction of national Energy Efficiency Action Plans and related mandatory reporting requirements, with binding requirements for the public sector also having been introduced. While demands for binding targets were previously rejected, Member States will be required to prepare energy efficiency action plans, which must include an indicative energy savings target. They will be expected to include energy saving services or energy audits, and must include EU-wide energy consumption indicators and benchmarks for products such as household appliances, information technology and lighting as soon as the Commission develops them. The Commission will then assess each plan and propose further measures where necessary.

The full conclusions of the Council can be found at the following link:
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UK LEGISLATION

UK wide

The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2006

The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2006 were laid before Parliament on 16 March 2006 and will come into force on 6 April 2006. The Regulations amend the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2005 which provide a framework for a greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme and implement the Emissions Trading Directive (Directive 2003/87/EC).

The 2006 Regulations amend the 2005 Regulations in order to give effect to a number of changes to the implementation of the Emissions Trading Directive. Included within the changes made is provision for a mechanism for installations which began operating before 2004 but which have not received an allocation of allowances, to apply for an allocation, within the newly inserted regulation 22A. The Regulations also provide a power for the regulator to delay the allocation of allowances each year to an operator who has been allocated allowances from either the new entrant reserve or the late installation reserve, where certain conditions in the approved national allocation plan are fulfilled. The regulations also make a number of new provisions relating to the surrender and revocation of greenhouse gas emissions permits, and payment of subsistence fees.

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The Nuclear Reactors (Environmental Impact Assessment for Decommissioning) (Amendment) Regulations 2006

The Nuclear Reactors (Environmental Impact Assessment for Decommissioning) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 were laid before Parliament on 16 March 2006 and came into force on 6 April 2006. The Regulations amend the Nuclear Reactors (Environmental Impact Assessment for Decommissioning) Regulations 1999 in order to implement Council Directive 2003/35/EC providing for public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the environment and amending with regard to public participation and access to justice Council Directives 85/337/EEC and 96/61/EC. Regulations 2(2), (3), (5)-(7), and (9) therefore implement the Directive, while
regulations 2(4) and (8) correct drafting errors. Regulation 2(10) replaces the reference to the Environmental Information Regulations 1992 with a reference to the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

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The Merchant Shipping (Pollution) Act 2006

The Merchant Shipping (Pollution) Act 2006 received Royal Assent on 30 March 2006. The Act, which extends to the whole of the UK, confers on Her Majesty power to make an Order in Council which will enable the UK to implement revisions of the international arrangements relating to compensation for oil pollution from ships and to implement Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention (Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) by amending section 128(1) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995. Section 178(1) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 relating to the limitation period for claiming compensation from the International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage is also amended.

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The Landfill Tax (Amendment) Regulations 2006

The Landfill Tax (Amendment) Regulations 2006 were laid before the House of Commons on 22 March 2006 and will come into force on 1 April 2006. The Regulations amend the Landfill Tax Regulations 1996, by increasing the maximum credit that landfill site operators may claim against their annual landfill tax liability in the scheme whereby operators are entitled to credit based on the contributions they give to approved bodies with objects concerned with the environment. Details of this scheme are to be found in Part 7 of the principal Regulations "Credit: bodies concerned with the environment".

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The Petroleum Licensing (Exploration and Production) (Seaward and Landward Areas) (Amendment) Regulations 2006

The Petroleum Licensing (Exploration and Production) (Seaward and Landward Areas) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 were laid before Parliament on 16 March 2006 and will come into force on 13 April 2006. The Regulations amend the model clauses prescribed in the Petroleum Licensing (Exploration and Production) (Seaward and Landward Areas) Regulations 2004. Unless the Secretary of State thinks fit to modify or exclude them in any particular case, the model clauses are incorporated in exploration, production and petroleum exploration and development licences. The amendments to the model clauses will apply for the purposes of the 24th and subsequent rounds of licensing in seaward areas and the 13th and subsequent rounds of licensing in landward areas.

Regulations 3(2) and 3(3) insert and make provision for a new model clause applying to production and petroleum exploration and development licences, which are set out in Schedules 2, 3, 4 and 6 of the 2004 regulations. The new clause relates to the abandonment and plugging of Wells. It provides that, where the Minister revokes a licence, any Well drilled by the Licensee pursuant to the licence must be plugged and sealed as soon as possible or, if the Minister so directs, left in good order and fit for further working.

Regulation 3(4) amends an existing clause in production and petroleum exploration and development licences by providing that Well casings and fixtures left in position at the expiry or determination of the Licensee's rights, or at the completion of any works required of the Licensee under the new clause inserted by regulation 3(3), shall be the property of the Minister.

Regulations 3(5), 3(6) and 3(7) apply to exploration licences as well as to the above categories of licence. They collectively provide that the insolvency events specified in the Schedules, wherever they occur, shall entitle the Minister to revoke a licence.

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The Climate Change Levy (General) (Amendment) Regulations 2006
The Climate Change Levy (General) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 were made on 29 March 2006 and came into force on 1 April 2006. The Regulations make consequential amendments to the rules about how exemptions from climate change levy are claimed and made available following the abolition of the half-rate for supplies of electricity, gas and solid fuels to horticultural producers, which takes effect from 31 March 2006. The provisions for such producers certifying to energy suppliers entitlement to the half-rate for supplies physically made after 31st March 2006 are therefore suspended.
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England and Wales

The Waste Management (England and Wales) Regulations 2006

The Waste Management (England and Wales) Regulations 2006 were made on 28 March 2006 and will come into force on 15 May 2006. The Regulations implement (in part), in relation to England and Wales, the Waste Framework Directive (Directive 75/442/EEC) and the Landfill Directive (Directive 1999/31/EC).

Various sections of the Environment Act 1990 are amended. The first of these, section 33, is amended in order to provide that, in relation to household waste, establishments and undertakings must comply with all the requirements of section 33(1) of the 1990 Act. Persons who are not establishments or undertakings must only comply with the requirements of section 33(1)(c). Section 33B of the 1990 Act is also amended so that a person who is not an establishment or undertaking and who commits a relevant offence shall not be ordered by a magistrates' court to pay more than £5000 in clean-up costs. Section 33C of the 1990 Act is disapplied where a person who is not an establishment or undertaking is convicted of a relevant offence.

The Regulations also amend other items of legislation, including the Environment Act 1995 so that, in respect of agricultural waste, no charges may be imposed under a charging scheme in relation to a relevant environmental licence, the Controlled Waste (Registration of Carriers and Seizure of Vehicles) Regulations 1991 so that the registration requirements of the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989 do not apply to those who only transport animal by-products waste, mines or quarries waste, or agricultural waste on a professional basis, and the Controlled Waste Regulations 1992, so that section 34 of the 1990 Act (duty of care etc. as respects waste) does not apply to waste which comprises animal by-products collected and transported in accordance with the Community Regulation.

Finally, the 1994 Regulations are also amended in a number of respects. Included within these amendments are a new regulation 18A which sets out certain record-keeping requirements in relation to activities which are exempt from waste management licensing, the insertion of new paragraphs into Schedule 3 of the 1994 Regulations to provide for exemptions from waste management licensing for activities involving the recovery of animal by-products, the treatment of land with liquid milk, and the deposit of plant tissue.

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The Environmental Impact Assessment (Land Drainage Improvement Works) (Amendment) Regulations 2006

The Environmental Impact Assessment (Land Drainage Improvement Works) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 were laid before Parliament on the 9 March 2006 and came into force on 30 March 2006. The Regulations amend the Environmental Impact Assessment (Land Drainage Improvement Works) Regulations 1999, which apply to England and Wales. Regulation 2 amends regulation 13B of the 1999 Regulations, which was inserted into the 1999 Regulations by the Environmental Impact Assessment (Land Drainage Improvement Works) (Amendment) Regulations 2005, by clarifying that drainage bodies may substitute for one of the notices required to be placed in at least two newspapers a notice on the site of the proposed improvement works.

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The Water Resources (Abstraction and Impounding) Regulations 2006

The Water Resources (Abstraction and Impounding) Regulations 2006 were laid before Parliament on 10 March 2006. The Regulations, applicable in England and Wales only, contain provisions relating to the licensing of abstraction and impounding of water in the light of amendments made by the Water Act 2003 to the Water Resources Act 1991.

The procedural requirements for the making of licence applications and appeals against decisions on licence applications for the abstraction or impounding of water are made in Part 2 of the Regulations. All such applications, other than those seeking to vary such a licence so as to reduce the quantity of water authorised to be abstracted, are to be made to the Environment Agency (EA), who is required to advertise certain applications. Part 2 also includes provisions regarding acknowledgement of receipt of an application by the EA and the requirement to provide the applicant with specified information within the timescales set out in Regulation 8. Provision is also made for appeal, which must be made within the time limits specified in regulation 12 and in the form specified in regulation 13.

Part 3 of, and Schedule 2 to, these Regulations make modifications to the Water Resources Act 1991 as it applies to abstraction or impounding by the Agency, who must now follow similar procedures and comply with similar requirements as any other applicant. Provision is made for the procedures, requirements and time limits in relation to the process of making, deciding and challenging Agency licence applications.

Provision is made within Part 4 of the Regulations in respect of the content of enforcement notices in relation to a breach of a restriction on the abstraction or impounding of water and works notices in relation to the protection of the environment. Finally, Part 5 makes a number of miscellaneous provisions.

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The Water Act 2003 (Commencement No. 6, Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2006

The Water Act 2003 (Commencement No. 6, Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2006 has also been made on 30 March 2006. The Order, which applies to England and Wales, brought into force on 1st April 2006, certain provisions of the Water Act 2003, and made transitional provision and savings in respect of some of those provisions. Part 1 of the Water Act 2003, which relates to the licensing of abstraction and impounding of water, is brought into force, as well as Part 3 of the Act, which enables the Secretary of State to make regulations and give directions in relation to water resources management plans. Transitional provisions and savings consequential upon the coming into force of certain provisions in Part 1 of the Act are made in the Schedule to the Order.

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The Environment Act 1995 (Commencement No. 23) (England and Wales) Order 2006
The Environment Act 1995 (Commencement No. 23) (England and Wales) Order 2006 was made on 27 March 2006. Insofar as the provisions are not already in force, section 120(1) of the Environment Act 1995, insofar as it relates to paragraphs 27(b) and (c), 88 and 95 of Schedule 22 to that Act, and section 120(3) of the 1995 Act, insofar as it relates to the repeal of words in section 30(1) of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 and the repeal of section 75(3) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 will come into force on 15 May 2006.

Paragraphs 27(b) and (c) of the Environment Act 1995 make amendments to section 30(1) of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 concerning the definition of "waste". "Waste" in the 1974 Act is given the same meaning as in Part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and the words which provide a presumption that anything discarded is waste unless the contrary is proved, cease to have effect.

Paragraph 88 amends section 75 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, also concerning the definition of "waste", in order that the definition of "waste" in Part II of that Act is the same as that contained within the Waste Framework Directive (Directive 75/442/EEC). A new Schedule 2B (categories of waste) is also inserted within the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which transposes Annex I of the Waste Framework Directive.

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England

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (Commencement No.1, Transitional and Savings Provisions) (England) Order 2006

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (Commencement No.1, Transitional and Savings Provisions) (England) Order 2006 were made on 9 March 2006. The Order brings into force in England the provisions of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 set out in Schedule 1 on 14th March 2006. Section 2 of the Act is also brought into force on 1 April 2006 and the provisions of the Act as set out in Schedule 2 are brought into force on 6 April 2006.
Article 3 of the Order contains transitional provisions permitting any designation of a place, for the purpose of controlling the distribution of free literature, under either section 4 of the London Local Authorities Act 1994 or section 2 of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne Act 2000 to continue to apply (notwithstanding the repeal of those provisions) until immediately before the 6th October 2006 or the expiry of the designation, if earlier.
Finally, Article 4 makes savings under which the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 shall continue to apply in respect of land that is "designated land" under that Act immediately before 6th April 2006.
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The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (Commencement No.2, Transitional Provisions and Savings) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Order 2006
The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (Commencement No.2, Transitional Provisions and Savings) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Order 2006 was made on 30 March 2006 and came into force on 1 April 2006. The Order amends article 6 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (Commencement No.2, Transitional Provisions and Savings) (England and Wales) Order 2005, referred to above, which repealed section 32 of, and Part 2 of Schedule 2 to, the Environmental Protection Act 1990. However, Article 6 of the 2005 Order contained savings continuing the effect of the repealed sections in relation to waste disposal companies under the control of waste disposal authorities at the date the repeal took effect. This Order limits those savings so that from 1st April 2006 only section 32(7) and (8) of the 1990 Act will continue to have effect in relation to those companies.
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The Environmental Protection (Waste Recycling Payments) Regulations 2006
The Environmental Protection (Waste Recycling Payments) Regulations 2006 were laid before Parliament on 16 March 2006 and came into force on 6 April 2006. The Regulations make provision for the determination of the amounts of recycling payments, payable under section 52(1) or (3) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 by waste disposal authorities in England to waste collection authorities and other persons in respect of waste retained or collected for recycling. Recycling payments to be made shall be of an amount representing the waste disposal authority's net saving of expenditure on the disposal of waste retained or collected by the waste collection authorities or other persons for recycling. The method of calculating a waste disposal authority's net saving of expenditure is set out in Regulation 3, while Regulation 3(6) provides that if a determination cannot be made, the waste disposal authority's net savings of expenditure shall be determined by reference to the figures specified in the Schedule to the Regulations, which shall be increased by 3% on an annual basis.
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Scotland

The Provision of Water and Sewerage Services (Reasonable Cost) (Scotland) Regulations

The Provision of Water and Sewerage Services (Reasonable Cost) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 were laid before the Scottish Parliament on 9 March 2006 and came into force on 1 April 2006. Under the provisions of section 1 of the Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968 and section 6 of the Water (Scotland) Act 1980, Scottish Water are required to make new connections to the public sewerage and water supply systems where it is possible to do so at reasonable cost. The new Provision of Water and Sewerage Services (Reasonable Cost) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 therefore set out how "reasonable cost" is to be calculated for the purposes of those sections.

Provision is made within Regulation 2 for the reasonable cost of a connection to the public sewerage and water supply systems, with Regulations 4(1) and 5(1), setting out how the reasonable costs of a connection to the public sewerage and water supply systems is to be calculated. The reasonable cost is the lower of the cost calculated in accordance with regulation 6 or 7, or in accordance with the formula specified in regulation 4(2) or 5(2) (where appropriate, as read with regulation 4(3) or 5(3)). Regulations 6 and 7 specify the matters to be taken into, or left out of, account when calculating the cost of a connection, respectively, to the public sewerage and water supply systems.

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The Waste Management Licensing (Water Environment) (Scotland) Regulations 2006

The Waste Management Licensing (Water Environment) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 were laid before the Scottish Parliament on 9 March 2006 and came into force on 1 April 2006. The Regulations amend the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 in order to make provision for the interaction between the waste management licensing regime under the 1994 Regulations and the regime under the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2005.

In particular, Regulation 3 of the 1994 Regulations is amended in order to add regulation 40(1) of the 2005 Regulations to the list of offences which may render a person unfit to hold a waste management licence. Regulation 16 of the 1994 Regulations is also amended to provide that where a person is authorised under the 2005 Regulations in respect of certain waste management activities, the offence under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 for failing to have a waste management licence will not apply.

Regulations 7 to 10 of the new Waste Management Licensing (Water Environment) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 also make provision to ensure that an exempt activity under the 1994 Regulations, which is a controlled activity within the meaning of the 2005 Regulations, is carried out in compliance with requirements similar to those which apply under the 2005 Regulations. Where that is the case, the person will be deemed to have been authorized under the 2005 Regulations.

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The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 (Notices in the Interests of National Security) Order 2006

The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 (Notices in the Interests of National Security) Order 2006 was laid before Parliament on 15 March 2006 and came into force on 5 April 2006. The Order makes provision consequential on the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2005, which were made under the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003. Part III of the 2005 Regulations makes provision as to applications to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) for authorisations to carry on one or more controlled activities. Under the Regulations, SEPA may require that such applications are publicised and requires that SEPA maintains a register containing particulars described in Schedule 8 of the Regulations, which may include information about controlled activities and the locations where they are carried on.

The Order therefore empowers the Secretary of State to issue a non-disclosure notice if he is of the opinion that disclosure of such information relating to a controlled activity site would be against the interests of national security. The effects of issuing a non-disclosure notice are set out in Article 4 of the Order and Article 5 makes provision to prevent disclosure of information stated in a disclosure notice. The Secretary of State may however make exemptions, in respect of any information to which a non-disclosure notice relates, from the provisions of articles 4(b) and 5.

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The Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 (Designation of Responsible Authorities and Functions) Order 2006

The Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 (Designation of Responsible Authorities and Functions) Order 2006 was laid before Parliament on 9 March 2006 and came into force on 1 April 2006. The Order designates certain public bodies and office-holders as responsible authorities in respect of specified functions relating to the water environment, for the purposes of Part 1 of the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003. The bodies and office-holders designated, which include Councils, Scottish Water, Scottish Natural Heritage, National Park authorities, District salmon fishery boards, the British Waterways Board, the Forestry Commission and the Fisheries Committee, are set out in the Schedule to the Order, as well as the enactments relative to each body or office holder.

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The Water Environment (Oil Storage) (Scotland) Regulations 2006

The Water Environment (Oil Storage) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 were laid before the Scottish Parliament on 10 March 2006 and came into force on 1 April 2006. The Regulations, which are made under provisions of the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003, make provision for or in connection with regulating oil storage activities for the purposes of protection of the water environment. The Regulations treat all activities specified in regulations 4 to 6 as "controlled activities" within the meaning of regulation 4 of the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 and deem them to be authorised under regulation 7 as if carried on in accordance with these Regulations. Under Regulations 4 and 5, requirements regarding the construction of portable containers and in respect of the installation and alteration of certain containers for storage of oil used in private dwellings are set out.

Detailed requirements for the storage of oil on premises other than in accordance with regulation 4 and 5, underground containers, oil storage authorised under Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or subject to a permit under the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000 and oil distribution depots are also included within Regulation 6. Finally, transitional provisions are made for activities carried on immediately before the coming into force of the Regulations, for activities commenced on or after that date and before 1st October 2006 and for activities undertaken less than 10 metres from any surface water or wetlands and less than 50 metres from any well or borehole and consequential amendments are made to the Control of Pollution (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) (Scotland) Regulations 2003.

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The Sewerage Nuisance (Code of Practice) (Scotland) Order 2006
The Sewerage Nuisance (Code of Practice) (Scotland) Order 2006 was laid before the Scottish Parliament on 16 March 2006 and will come into force on 22 April 2006. The Order contains a sewerage code for the purposes of sections 25 and 26 of the Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005. Under section 25 of the 2005 Act, the Scottish Ministers were to make an order containing a code of practice (a "sewerage code") for the purposes of assessing, controlling and minimising sewerage nuisance. The sewerage code contained within this Order, the "Code of Practice on Sewerage Nuisance - Assessment and Control of Odour from Waste Water Treatment Works" therefore fulfils this duty. Section 26 of the 2005 Act also made provision for the monitoring and enforcement of a sewerage code by local authorities. The Sewerage Code can be found within the Schedule to the Order.

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The Water Environment (Consequential and Savings Provisions) (Scotland) Order 2006

The Water Environment (Consequential and Savings Provisions) (Scotland) Order 2006 was made on 29 March 2006 and came into force on 1 April 2006. The Order, made under sections 36(3) and 37 of the Water Environment and Water Services Scotland Act 2003, makes consequential and savings provisions necessary or expedient in consequence of the 2003 Act and the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2005, made under the 2003 Act. The 2005 Regulations provide the mechanism by which activities which impact on the water environment are authorised and regulated in Scotland. The Schedule to the Order therefore specifies the repeals, revocations, savings and amendments which are given effect to, in order to make the existing legislative framework which regulates the water environment consistent with the new regulatory regime contained in the 2003 Act and the 2005 Regulations.

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The Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 (Commencement No. 3 and Savings) Order 2006

The Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 (Commencement No. 3 and Savings) Order 2006 was made on 22 March 2006. The Order brings into force further provisions of the Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 on 1st and 22nd April 2006.

Section 3 of the 2005 Act amends provisions in Part 1 of the Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002 relating to the Water Customer Consultation Panels, customer representation and investigation of complaints by customers of Scottish Water.

Section 23 of the 2005 Act amends section 1 of the Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968 and section 6 of the Water (Scotland) Act 1980, which make provision, respectively, for determining the costs of new connections to the public sewerage and water supply systems, in order to give the Water Industry Commission for Scotland responsibility for determining disputes concerning costs rather than the Scottish Ministers.

Section 26 of the 2005 Act makes provision for the monitoring and enforcement of any sewerage code as provided for in the Sewerage Nuisance (Code of Practice) (Scotland) Order 2006, referred to above.
Finally, Article 3 makes savings provisions in consequence of the commencement of section 23 of the 2005 Act, to enable the Scottish Ministers to continue to determine disputes concerning the costs of new connections to the public sewerage and water supply systems arising before 1st April 2006.

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Northern Ireland

The Environmental Impact Assessment (Uncultivated Land and Semi-Natural Areas) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006

The Environmental Impact Assessment (Uncultivated Land and Semi-Natural Areas) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 were made on 2 March 2006 and will come into operation on 17 April 2006. The Regulations implement Directive 2003/35/EC, which provides for public participation in certain environmental decision making, and amends the EIA Directive (Directive 85/337/EC), insofar as it affects environmental impact assessments of uncultivated land and semi-natural areas, and therefore revoke the Environmental Impact Assessment (Uncultivated Land and Semi-Natural Areas) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001.

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The Pollution Prevention and Control (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006

The Pollution Prevention and Control (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 were made on 9 March 2006 and will come into operation on 23 April 2006. The Regulations implement in Northern Ireland the amendments to the public participation provisions in Directive 96/61/EC made by Article 4 of Directive 2003/35/EC providing for public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the environment and amending with regard to public participation and access to justice Council Directives 85/337/EEC and 96/61/EC (the Public Participation Directive). In particular, regulation 2 and the procedures for public participation in Schedules 4 (Grant of Permits) and 7 (Variation of Conditions) to the 2003 Regulations are amended in order to implement the additional public participation requirements in paragraphs 1 to 3, 5 and 6 of Article 4 of the Public Participation Directive. The Regulations also make a number of miscellaneous amendments to the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003. The requirements in these Regulations will not apply to applications for permits or variations or proposed variations in respect of which the operator applied, or the enforcing authority notified to the operator, at a date prior to the date of coming into operation of these Regulations.

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Wales

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (Commencement No. 1 and Savings) (Wales) Order 2006

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (Commencement No.1 and Savings) (Wales) Order 2006 was made on 15 March 2006. The Order brings into force section 47 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (insofar as it relates thereto, Part 4 of Schedule 5), as well as section 53, paragraph 4 of Schedule 4 and other provisions to the extent that they enable the National Assembly for Wales to make, give or issue subordinate legislation. All of these provisions are brought into force on 16 March 2006.

Amongst the other provisions of the Order, Article 2 repeals certain sections of the Environment Protection Act 1990, makes certain consequential repeals to that Act, and gives effect to a minor amendment to section 60(1) of that Act, relating to the interference with waste sites and receptacles for waste. Article 2 also enables waste collection authorities to use their powers of investigation under section 108 of the Environment Act 1995 to investigate incidents or offences in relation to the discharge of any of their functions under Part 2 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

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