Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Water
Recently Added Legislation

2014

Groundwater (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 SR 208

Came into force: 31st July 2014

Amend the 2009/254 Regulations in order to transpose in greater detail some provisions of the Groundwater Daughter Directive 2006/118/EC

2015

Nitrates Action Programme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 SR 307

Sets out an action programme for the period 01 January 2015 to 31 December 2018 concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources. It also implements a European Commission Decision allowing derogation from a land application limit of 170kg of nitrogen per hectare per year (kg N/ha/year) of livestock manure up to 250kg N/ha/year from grazing livestock manure for farms which meet certain conditions.

Water Framework Directive (Classification, Priority Substances and Shellfish Waters) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2015 SR 351

Transpose Directive 2013/39/EU which revised environmental standards for some priority substances and added a further twelve additional substances to the list of priority substances introduced by the original Priority Substances Directive (2008/105/EC). Consolidate all the current legislation which set out the Water Framework Classification Schemes.

2016

Groundwater (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 SR119

Amend the Groundwater Regulations (NI) 2009 in order to transpose the provisions of the EU Groundwater Directive 2014/80/EU. Include an amendment to the ‘lead’ parameter threshold to bring it in line with the drinking standard set out in Directive 98/83/EC on the quality of water intended for human consumption.

Environmental Better Regulation Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

The Act is a key element of the Department’s Regulatory Transformation Programme, the aim of which is to provide a more streamlined and effective regulatory system for businesses and regulators. Key provisions include:- The creation of an integrated environmental permitting regime. Rationalising powers of entry and associated powers (inspection and investigation). Amendments to the Clean Air (NI) Order 1981. Amendments to the Environment (NI) Order 2002. Amendments to the Water and Sewage Services (NI) Order 2006.

2017

The Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 SR81

Revokes and replaces the Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) Regulations 2003. They transpose the Water Framework Directive.  The Regulations will continue to provide for the monitoring, assessment and improvement of the condition of water bodies in order to meet the objectives of the Water Framework Directive.

 

Drainage (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 SR 88

Implement Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, in respect of drainage schemes and drainage works.

 

Water Resources (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 SR85

Revoke and replace the Water Resources (EIA) Regulations (NI) 2005 and provide (in relation to relevant water management projects for agriculture in Northern Ireland) for the assessment of the effects of such projects on the environment. They impose procedural requirements in relation to the consideration of applications or proposals for consent for a relevant project.

Current Legislation

This page provides links to the full text of key pieces of Water environmental legislation that may affect your business in Northern Ireland. The websites hosting the legislation may list amendments separately.

If you are setting up an environmental management system (EMS) for your business, you can use this list to start compiling your legal register. Your legal adviser or environmental consultant will be able to tell you if other environmental legislation applies to your specific business.

Environmental management systems and environmental reports

Anti-Pollution Works Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 SR 7

Sets out the contents of anti-pollution works notices served under the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999, how to appeal, and how to claim compensation for access rights in connection with anti-pollution works.

Control of Pollution (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) Regulations (NI) 2003 SR 319

Establishes construction and storage standards for silage making and storage, slurry storage systems and agricultural fuel oil stores, with aim of reducing water pollution.

Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 SR 412

Imposes general requirements for preventing pollution of any waterway from oil storage, particularly fixed tanks or mobile bowsers. Makes contravention a criminal offence.

Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011 SR 385

Amends 2010/412 to correct a drafting error.

Drainage (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 SR 88

Implement Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, in respect of drainage schemes and drainage works.

 

Environmental Better Regulation Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

The Act is a key element of the Department’s Regulatory Transformation Programme, the aim of which is to provide a more streamlined and effective regulatory system for businesses and regulators. Key provisions include:- The creation of an integrated environmental permitting regime. Rationalising powers of entry and associated powers (inspection and investigation). Amendments to the Clean Air (NI) Order 1981. Amendments to the Environment (NI) Order 2002. Amendments to the Water and Sewage Services (NI) Order 2006.

Environmental Liability (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009

Brings into force rules to force polluters to prevent and repair damage to water systems, land quality, species and their habitats and protected sites. The polluter does not have to be prosecuted first, so remedying the damage should be faster.

Environmental Liability (Prevention and Remediation) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009 SR 361

Amends 2009/252 to update how warrants can be issued and enforced, give magistrates more flexibility in the fines they can apply for conviction and to clarify that references to European legislation include any future amendments.

Environmental Protection (Restriction on Use of Lead Shot) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2009 SR 168

Makes shooting with lead shot on or over wetlands in Northern Ireland an offence punishable by fine.

Food and Environment Protection Act (FEPA) 1985 (including updates)

Sets up a licensing system for depositing substances in the sea, and incinerating at sea. Also provides a legal framework for controlling pesticides.

Foyle and Carlingford Fisheries (Northern Ireland) Order 2007 SI 915

Amends Foyle Fisheries Act (Northern Ireland) 1952 to authorise Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission to licence and develop aquaculture in the Foyle and Carlingford areas. Updates the Act's and other statutory provisions for inland fisheries.

Groundwater Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009 SR 254

Introduces classification systems in line with EU developments, makes it an offence to discharge listed substances without an authorisation, controls issuing and reviewing authorisations and consents. Covers enforcement, codes of practice and penalties.

Groundwater (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009 SR 359

Amends 2009/254 to give magistrates more flexibility in the fines they can apply on conviction.

Groundwater (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011 SR 211

Amends 2009/254 to allow the storage of carbon dioxide in geological formations which for natural reasons are permanently unsuitable for other purposes.

Groundwater (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 SR 208

Amend the 2009/254 Regulations in order to transpose in greater detail some provisions of the Groundwater Daughter Directive 2006/118/EC

Groundwater (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 SR119

Amend the Groundwater Regulations (NI) 2009 in order to transpose the provisions of the EU Groundwater Directive 2014/80/EU. Include an amendment to the ‘lead’ parameter threshold to bring it in line with the drinking standard set out in Directive 98/83/EC on the quality of water intended for human consumption.

Industrial Pollution Control (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 SI 2777 (including updates to 2004)

Sets out which polluting industrial processes and substances require authorisations, how to transfer or vary an authorisation, how to appeal, and related fines and sentences (amended by PPC Regulations.)

Nitrates Action Programme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 SR 307

Sets out an action programme for the period 01 January 2015 to 31 December 2018 concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources. It also implements a European Commission Decision allowing derogation from a land application limit of 170kg of nitrogen per hectare per year (kg N/ha/year) of livestock manure up to 250kg N/ha/year from grazing livestock manure for farms which meet certain conditions.

Notification of CoolingTowersand Evaporative Condensers Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1994 SR 38

Requires businesses to provide their local council with specific details before installing, changing or shutting down a cooling tower.

Pollution Control and Local Government (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 SR 1049 (NI 19)

Regulates waste on land, abandoned vehicles, noise nuisance, noise abatement zones, sulphur content of oil fuel used in furnaces and engines, cable burning, and pollution of the atmosphere and water. Other aspects have been revoked.

Private Water Supplies Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009 SR 413

Regulates the quality of water intended for human consumption that come from private supplies.

Private Water Supplies (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 SR 131

Amends 2009/413 to add clarifications and to ensure that by-products from disinfection treatment are kept to a minimum.

Protection of Water Against Agricultural Nitrate Pollution (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2004 SR 419

Establishes that an Action Programme applies in Northern Ireland.

Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1990 SR 245

Bans the use of sewage sludge from treatment plants in agriculture, unless certain requirements are met including specified pH levels, no fruit or vegetable harvesting and no soil and groundwater pollution.

Urban Waste Water Treatment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007 SR 187

Revokes and replaces the Urban Waste Water Treatment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995, to reflect new arrangements for sewerage services set out in the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006.

Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 SI 2778 (NI 19) (including updates)

Sets out the waste management regime covering waste carrier registration and identifying and remedying contaminated land.

Water Abstraction and Impoundment (Licensing) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 SR 482

Sets out a control regime for regulating the abstraction of water from underground strata and waterways and for constructing, alterating or operating impounding works.

Water Abstraction and Impoundment (Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2007/122.

Amend 2006/482. Provides for a water undertaker to be notified of any licence applications made to the Department and for the water undertaker to make representations to the Department within 28 days.

Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 SR81

Revokes and replaces the Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) Regulations 2003. They transpose the Water Framework Directive.  The Regulations will continue to provide for the monitoring, assessment and improvement of the condition of water bodies in order to meet the objectives of the Water Framework Directive.

 

Water Framework Directive (Classification, Priority Substances and Shellfish Waters) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2015 SR 351

Transpose Directive 2013/39/EU which revised environmental standards for some priority substances and added a further twelve additional substances to the list of priority substances introduced by the original Priority Substances Directive (2008/105/EC). Consolidate all the current legislation which set out the Water Framework Classification Schemes.

Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 SI 662 (including amendments up to 2004)

Revokes and replaces the Water Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 and makes provision for discharge consents. Enables the DoE to set water quality objectives and prevent pollution from anti-pollution works.

Water Resources (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 SR85

Revoke and replace the Water Resources (EIA) Regulations (NI) 2005 and provide (in relation to relevant water management projects for agriculture in Northern Ireland) for the assessment of the effects of such projects on the environment. They impose procedural requirements in relation to the consideration of applications or proposals for consent for a relevant project.

 

Water and Sewerage Services (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 SI 1946

Enables the DoE to introduce controls on water abstraction and impounding and sets out rules on information sharing about water and sewerage charges.

Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 SI 3336 (NI 21)

Establishes government-owned companies' obligations for water supply, drinking water quality, trade effluent and sewage disposal, water and sewerage charges and customer service.

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