Edie Environmental Legislation Summary, June 2008

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 changes this month are regulations looking at water quality in Scotland and Northern Ireland and law monitoring Scottish nature conservation sites.

SCOTLAND

Water Quality

The Scottish Ministers have made new regulations in order to transpose the requirements of European Directive 2006/7/EC concerning the management of bathing water quality.

The Bathing Waters (Scotland) Regulations 2008, which came into force on 23rd May 2008, put in place the necessary legislative framework to improve the protection of bathers health by raising water quality standards and requiring that information on bathing water quality is made available.

Under the new regulations the Scottish Ministers, local authorities and SEPA are obliged to ensure compliance with the Directive.

The Scottish Ministers are required to ensure public participation, especially in the establishment and review of the lists of bathing waters.

SEPA must establish a bathing water profile at all bathing waters.

SEPA and Local Authorities are required to monitor the quality of bathing waters and publicise their findings. This information must be available to bathers to allow them to make an informed decision on whether to bathe or not.

The regulations also require that, from 2015, all bathing waters should be classified as poor, sufficient, good or excellent.

The regulations also set out management measures to be taken at bathing waters that are subject to pollution.

The text of these new regulations is available by following this link.

Conservation

The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 (Commencement No. 3) Order 2008 brings into force Section 22 of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004.

Section 22 of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 requires the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland to keep a register containing particular information relating to SSSI notifications; and, to ensure that the register is, at all reasonable times, available for public inspection.

Section 22 also enables the Scottish Ministers to make provision as to the form and manner in which the register is kept, the information which the register is to contain and amendment of the register. Section 22 also requires SNH to send to the Keeper, for registration in the register, copies of the relevant notifications and notices.

Further information is available via this link.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Water Quality

The Quality of Bathing Water Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008 come into force on 30th June 2008 putting in place the necessary legislative framework to implement European Directive 2006/7/EC concerning the management of bathing water quality in Northern Ireland.

The new regulations aim to improve the protection of bathers health by raising water quality standards and to ensure that information on bathing water quality is made available.

Under the new regulations the Department of the Environment is obliged to ensure compliance with the Directive.

The Department of the Environment is required to establish a bathing water profile for all bathing waters and to establish a suitable monitoring programme. The Department is also required to encourage public participation in the exercise of its functions under these regulations.

The regulations also require the Department of Environment to classify all bathing waters as poor, sufficient, good or excellent from 2015.

The Department of Environment and bathing water operators must also take certain management measures at bathing waters which are subject to pollution.

The text of these new regulations is available via the following link.

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