A Manual of Environmental Protection Law: The Pollution Control Functions of the Environment Agency and SEPA

By Michael Fry | Go to book overview

Introduction

The aim of this Manual is to provide collection of the sources of law relating to the pollution control functions of the new Environment Agencies in one reference volume.

On 1 April 1996 responsibilities relating to environmental protection which had previously been exercised by various authorities and persons were transferred to the new Agencies, the Environment Agency in respect of England and Wales and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, SEPA, in respect of Scotland. The proposal to establish an environment agency had been made by the Prime Minister in a speech on 8 July 1991. Following a consultation process and a further period of time, during which an Environment Agencies' Paving Bill to take preliminary steps to establish new agencies was proposed but not proceeded with, the Environment Bill was introduced into the House of Lords on 1 December 1994. This bill contained proposals to establish the Environment Agency and SEPA along with other matters such as proposals relating to contaminated land, a national air quality strategy and a national waste strategy. Following the passage of the bill through Parliament the royal assent was granted on 19 July 1995.

The Environment Act 1995 makes extensive changes to legislation not only in respect of amendments to existing statutes consequent on the establishment of the new Agencies but also in the enactment of new provisions. As provided in Part I of the Environment Act 1995, the new Agencies have taken over several functions concerning environmental protection. This Manual concerns the work of the Agencies relating to integrated pollution control, the control of pollution of water resources, the regulation of controlled waste and of radioactive substances and, in Scotland, air pollution functions previously exercised by local authorities. In addition to annotated primary and secondary legislation, the Manual includes a collection of associated material including addresses, references to additional sources and the code of practice relating to the waste management duty of care.

Inevitably, it is not possible to include all relevant legislation and other material in one volume. In respect of secondary legislation, statutory instruments have been selected which concern the operation of the statutes set out in the Manual. However, owing to limitations of space, not all instruments relating to pollution control can be included; hence instruments such as the Urban Waste Water Treatment Regulations 1994, S.I. 1994/2841 and S.I. 1984/2842, are not set out. In common with other areas of law there is no fixed boundary defining environ

-xiii-

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