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ENVIRONMENT ACT PROVISIONS BROUGHT INTO FORCE

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Some provisions in the Environment Act 1995 came into force yesterday under a government order which will bring int...
Some provisions in the Environment Act 1995 came into force yesterday under a government order which will bring into force:

Section 20 (and Schedule 6) [establishment of SEPA] Section 21 [transfer of functions] Section 22 [transfer of property, rights and liabilities] Section 23 [Staff Commission] Section 30 [Records held by SEPA] Section 31 [Guidance on sustainable development and other aims and objectives] Section 32 [General environmental and recreational duties] Section 36 [Codes of Practice]

It will also:

bring into force the secretary of state's powers to make regulations in relation to the notice of proposed abandonment of a mine and notices requiring anti-pollution works to be carried out and will make minor amendments to the Prevention of Oil Pollution Act 1971 and Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

- SEPA will bring together the functions of Her Majesty's Industrial Pollution Inspectorate, river purification authorities and the responsibilities of district and islands councils for waste regulation and some air pollution controls. It will employ some 600 staff and have a budget of over £22m.

- Despite the commencement of these provisions the actual transfer of functions, property, rights and liabilities to SEPA will not take place until the actual 'transfer date' which will be April 1, 1996.

- The regulation-making powers brought into force by the Order are those contained in Section 59 (abandoned mines), and paragraph 29 (22) (anti-pollution operations) of Schedule 22, of the Environment Act 1995.

- The amendment to the Prevention of Oil Pollution Act 1971 means that certain provisions of that Act will not apply to a discharge or escape which is authorised under Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

- The changes in Schedule 22 of the Act to Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 brought into force by the order mean that a notice to vary an authorisation can, itself, be varied (paragraph 51 of the Schedule), and an enforcement notice can be withdrawn (paragraph 53).

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