Main UK Legislation (page under review)

 

Energy Act 2008 The Energy Act of 2008 is instrumental in bearing down the legislative provisions for energy producers and providers in the UK. The Act received Royal Assent on 26 November 2008.
Energy Act 2011 This act contains provisions to improve energy efficiency within the UK. This includes provisions on the security of energy supplies such as the necessary applications to use or modify upstream petroleum infrastructure to increase their capacity, and the measures to be taken within the energy industry to reduce carbon emissions, such as applications for re-use of infrastructure.
Energy Act 2016 The introduction of the Energy Act 2016 formally establishes the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) as an independent regulator, detailing its functions. The regulations transfer functions from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (formerly DECC) to the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA). Functions relate to licensing, production and exploration.
Energy Act 2016 (Commencement No. 1 and Savings Provisions) Regulations 2016 These Regulations bring into force the specified provisions of the Energy Act 2016 (c. 20). These are the first commencement regulations made under the Act which came into force on 24 May 2016. The dates of commencement of certain other provisions are set out in section 84 of the Act. This Act is part of the Energy Act 2016, formally establishing the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) as an independent regulator, detailing its functions.
Environmental Bill

The Environment Bill 2019 was introduced to Parliament on 15 October 2019, but failed to get through Parliament before its dissolution on 6 November 2019. The revised Environment Bill 2019-2021 was reintroduced to Parliament on 30 January 2020.

This bill sets out new environmental targets, plans and policies to be included in future regulations in the UK. This paves the way for a new suite of environmental legislation to help improve the natural environment.
The Bill aims to create a world-leading system for environmental governance, through a new public body based in Bristol – the Office for Environmental Protection – which will be an independent watchdog with the powers to hold Government and other public bodies to account in relation to fulfilling their obligations on the environment.

While the Bill applies to England only, more than half of its measures, such as those designed to drive up recycling rates, are designed to apply across the UK, with the consent of devolved administrations. Environmental target: this document is for stakeholders who are interested in understanding how targets will be developed to fulfil the government’s environmental ambitions. It provides a roadmap for methodically developing our evidence base, signalling how we will be engaging key stakeholder groups and how we will provide updates more widely along the way. Once proposed targets are developed, businesses, communities and civil society will have an opportunity to share their views in response to a public consultation that is expected in early 2022.

Environmental Protection Act 1990 The aim of the Act is to provide a framework which will enable the Secretary of State to enforce regulations in order to prevent pollution from emissions to air, land or water from various processes. It contains the main legislation in relation to statutory nuisances, integrated pollution control, and also places a duty of care on those involved in the management of waste.
 Environmental (Wales) Act 2016 This Act became law on the 2nd February 2016 and applies to Wales only. It includes responsibilities on various topics including the management of natural resources, climate change, collection and disposal of waste, and marine licensing are detailed by this act and mechanisms for the National Assembly of Wales are established. This Act was amended by the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 (Amendment of 2050 Emissions Target) Regulations 2021 to amend the target for emissions reductions in Wales for 2050 from 80% lower than the baseline to 100% lower than the baseline.
Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 asp 12 This Act outlines the plans to improve and promote sustainable development in the Scottish Islands. This includes provisions for the development of the Scottish Island Marine area, such as the requirement for certain developments to obtain Scottish Island Marine area licences.
Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 The UK Marine and Coastal Access Act of 2009, which gained Royal Assent on 12 November 2009, with particular relevance to biodiversity and nature conservation, this piece of legislation makes provision for the designation of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in the territorial waters adjacent to England and Wales and UK offshore waters. Operators will need to apply for a marine licence to undertake certain licensable marine activities as per paragraph 66.
Petroleum Act 1998 These Regulations consolidate with amendments the provisions of the Petroleum (Production) Regulations 1982 (as amended) in relation to (a) applications to the Secretary of State for petroleum production licences in respect of seaward areas and (b) applications to the Secretary of State for petroleum exploration licences in respect of seaward areas and landward areas below the low water line. Petroleum Licensing (Exploration and Production) (Seaward and Landward Areas) Regulations 2004 entered into force on 5 March 2004. Petroleum Licensing (Production) (Seaward Areas) Regulation 2008 entered into force on 6 April 2008. The Petroleum Act 1998 Chapter 17 has been amended by the Energy Act 2016 and the Scotland Act 2016. The provisions include requirement for the owners of relevant offshore installation to work towards the objective to maximise the economic recovery of UK petroleum. The Oil and Gas Authority is required to produce strategies to enable this objective to be met.
The Petroleum Act 1998 has been further amended by the Scotland Act 2016 and Wales Act 2017 (Onshore Petroleum) (Consequential Amendments) Regulations SI 2018/797 that was made on 27th June 2018 and apply to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. These Regulations transfer a power currently held by the Oil and Gas Authority to the Scottish Ministers and the Welsh Ministers. The regulator is in consequence allowed to request information on the financial affairs of a person who has drilled or is drilling a well in order to assess of their financial capability to plug and abandon.
Radioactive Substances Act 1993 The Radioactive Substances Act 1993 set out measures to regulate the use and disposal of radioactive substances including registration, authorisation, enforcement and offences. The Act was repealed in England and Wales and replaced by the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations SI 2010/675.
The Act now primarily applies to Northern Ireland and Scottish offshore waters.
Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action These regulations set out the legislative basis for the governance of Energy Union and Climate Action which aims to improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the amount of energy produced from renewable sources. These regulations align the EU’s energy targets with those of the Paris agreement. It sets out the requirement for Member States to produce a National Energy and Climate Plan every decade after 31 December 2019. As part of these plans, Member States should attempt to phase out fossil fuels.
Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019 This Act of the Scottish Parliament renames Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) as the ‘Crown Estate Scotland’; to make provision about the management of the Scottish Crown Estate; and for connected purposes. It also makes related minor consequential amendments to related instruments.
Special Waste Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2004 These Regulations now only apply in Scotland, and entered into force on 1 July 2004. These Regulations amended the Special Waste Regulations 1996 when they entered into force and impose procedures for Special Waste that add to those already under the Duty of Care, including requirements for transportation and disposal within a strict documented framework. The Regulations provide a new definition of Special Waste in accordance with the EC Hazardous Waste Directive (91/689/EEC). The Hazardous Waste List has been expanded and refined and is now included in the European Waste Catalogue.
Supplementary Guidance on the Offshore Chemicals and Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020

These guidance notes, provided by OPRED, outline the changes made by the Offshore Chemicals and Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

The guidance notifies the applicants that copies of documents

do not need to be made available to be obtained in person but that copies of the application must be accessible on a public website or supplied by post free of charge or provided electronically where requested, during this period. The modifications will lapse 12 months after the Regulations come into force (5 September 2020).

The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 as amended The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 (as amended) apply the ADR UN agreement in Great Britain, applying to England, Wales and Scotland only. The 2009 Regulations came in to force on the 1 July 2009, with an amendment to the Regulation taking place in 2011, which came in to force on the 24 October 2011.
The Conservation (Natural Habitat, &c.) Regulations 1994 as amendedThe Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 as amended The 1994 Regulations (as amended) implement the species protection requirements of the Habitat Directive in Scotland (only) on land and inshore waters (0-12 nautical miles). There have been several amendments to the regulations which apply to Scotland only, the latest amendment came into force on 16 August 2012. Thus the Scottish Regulations do not mirror the 2010 Regulations (The Conservation of Species and Habitats Regulation 2010), which apply to England and Wales only. The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 consolidate all the various amendments made to the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 in respect of England and Wales. The 2010 Regulations transposed Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (EC Habitats Directive) into national law for England and Wales only. The Regulations came into force on 1 April 2010.
The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015 The new Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations came into force in the UK on 1 June 2015. The main COMAH requirements will not change but a number of important changes particularly on how dangerous substances are classified and information that has to be made available to the public will change as a result of the new regulations. For the first time, lower tier operators will have to provide public information about their site and its hazards. Both top tier (now referred to as upper tier) and lower tier operators will need to provide public information electronically and keep it up to date.
The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 (as amended) These regulations define “Controlled Waste” for the purposes of EPA 90. Three categories of controlled waste are defined, i.e. household, industrial and commercial. Definition of Controlled Waste has been amended (see below) by the EU Framework Directive on Waste. All Special Waste/Hazardous Waste is Controlled Waste (see Waste Classification). The main exemptions to Controlled Waste are explosive and radioactive wastes. These Regulations entered into force on 6 April 2012.
The Controlled Waste Regulations 1992 (as amended) These regulations define “Controlled Waste” for the purposes of EPA 90 and entered into force on which came into force on 1 June 1992. Three categories of controlled waste are defined, i.e. household, industrial and commercial. Definition of Controlled Waste has been amended by the EU Framework Directive on Waste. All Special Waste/Hazardous Waste is Controlled Waste. The main exemptions to Controlled Waste are explosive and radioactive wastes. These Regulations apply to Scotland only, with the latest amendment coming into force on the 1 April 1993.
The Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme Regulations 2014 The Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is an energy assessment and energy saving scheme established by the ESOS Regulations 2014. The scheme applies to large undertakings and groups containing large undertakings in the UK. Guidance on who is required to comply, and how to comply with ESOS has been published by the Environment Agency. The 2014 Regulations implement the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU). Organisations that qualify must carry out ESOS assessments every four years. These assessments are made up of audits which will identify cost-effective energy saving measures.
The Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2018/219 It replaces the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 for Scotland, associated Exemption Order and the High-Activity Sealed Sources and Orphan Sources Regulations 2005. These Regulations establish an authorisation framework that integrates authorisation, procedural and enforcement processes relating to radioactive substances. This legislation applies to Scotland, but is not yet extended to Scottish offshore waters. New activity limits are accepted by the regulator until the scope is extended.
The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 They amend the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations SI 2016/1154.
The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 The 2015 amendment regulation are the latest amendment to the original Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010, which have been amended a number of times during this period. The regulations were amended to include the requirements of the industrial emissions directive. These regulations came into force on the 21 March 2015 and extend to England and Wales only. An England only amendment came into force on the 6 April 2015: The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2015. The Environmental Permitting regulations cover onshore air emission activities in England and Wales.
The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 as amended The Environmental Permitting Regulations (England and Wales) of March 2010 as amended by The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 introduced new and revised standard rules and generic risk assessments concerning waste operations under the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive. Standard rules define how operators must carry out activities, for example by limiting the types of waste that can be brought onto a site. If an operator wishes to carry out an activity covered by standard rules they can apply for a standard permit. This will be quicker and easier than applying for a bespoke permit with a more detailed assessment.
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Miscellaneous Amendments and Revocations) Regulations 2018 These Regulations apply to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. They mainly change out of date references to national and EU legislation, with some amendments reflecting changes in European legislation relating to hazardous waste and environmental information.
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Miscellaneous Amendments etc.) Regulations 2019 These regulations make amendments to DEFRA legislation in the UK. These amend legislation to ensure it is up to date, reflecting recent changes in EU law, and making minor corrections to legislation.
The Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulations 2015 as amended These regulations, which came into force on the 19 March 2015, implement the requirements of Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 of the European Parliament, revoking the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gas Regulations 2009. The regulations cover certification of equipment such as refrigeration and fire protection and fluorinated gas (f-gas) based solvents. Creates offences and penalties for not complying with recovery of f-gases legislation, labelling, qualifications and certificates required to work with products or equipment containing them. The Regulations ban the manufacture and use of certain F-Gases and provide a time period for these to be phased out. They have been amended by the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (Amendment) Regulations SI 2018/98 in response to five new EU Implementing Regulations which have been introduced since 2015. Changes include the introduction of civil sanctions and simplify the appointment of new certification bodies.
The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2012 as amended These Regulations, which came into force on 1 January 2013, replace the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2005. They transpose and implement Directive 2003/87/EC, establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the UK, and in particular the amendments made to it by Directive 2009/29/EC, which improve and extend the scheme (EUETS Phase III). The new regulations aim to improve and extend the EU ETS with the introduction of a centralised, EU-wide cap on emissions, new sectors and gases and harmonised rules on free allocation with a move toward the greater auctioning of allowances. Regulations 17 to 19 apply specifically to offshore installations. The 2012 Regulations have since been amended in 2013 and 2014, with the latest amendment coming into force on 22 December 2014.
The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2009
The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005
These Regulations amend the Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 which entered into force on 16 July 2005. The 2005 Regulations imposed procedures for Special Waste/Hazardous Waste that add to those already under the Duty of Care, including requirements for transportation and disposal within a strict documented framework (see Transfer of Special / Hazardous Waste). The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 affect handlers of hazardous waste in England and Wales. The Regulations require hazardous waste producers to notify the Environment Agency before hazardous wastes can be removed from the premises. Certain low risk premises are exempted from the Regulations as long as they produce less than a specified amount of hazardous waste per annum. The qualifying limitation has risen from 200kg to 500kg. See also ‘Explanatory Note‘. These Regulations entered into force on 6 April 2009. The latest amendments have been introduced by the Hazardous Waste (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Wales) Regulations SI 2018/721.
The Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) (Amendment) Order 2019
These regulations detail amendments to Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) Order 2011 . This amendment alters the list of activities which are exempt from a Marine License under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 in the UK. This order came into force on 31 May 2019.
The Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) (Wales) (Amendment) Order SI 2018/724
It revokes the Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) (Wales) (Amendment) Order SI 2016/690 and amends the Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) (Wales) Order SI 2011/559 which refers to Directive 2008/98/EC on waste and repealing certain Directives.
The Merchant Shipping Act 1995 The Merchant Shipping Act 1995, which received Royal Assent on 19 July 1995, implements in the UK the OPRC Convention. The aim of the OPRC Convention is to increase the level of effective response to oil pollution incidents and to promote international co-operation to this end. The Convention applies to ships and offshore installations and requires operators to have in place Oil Pollution Emergency Plans (OPEP), which are approved by the body that is the National Competent Authority for the Convention. The Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Convention) Regulations 1998 introduce into UK law the oil spill planning requirements and legal oil spill reporting requirements of the OPRC Convention. These Regulations were recently amended by the Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Convention) (Amendment) Regulations 2015.
The Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Convention) Regulations 1998 as amended The Convention applies to ships and offshore installations and requires operators to have in place Oil Pollution Emergency Plans (OPEP), which are approved by the body that is the National Competent Authority for the Convention. The Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Convention) Regulations 1998 introduced into UK law the oil spill planning requirements and legal oil spill reporting requirements of the OPRC Convention. These Regulations were recently amended by the Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Convention) (Amendment) Regulations 2015.
The Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Convention) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 These Regulations, which came into force on 19 July 2015, together with the Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case etc.) Regulations 2015 and the Offshore Petroleum Licensing (Offshore Safety Directive) Regulations 2015, implement the European Union Directive 2013/30/EU on the safety of offshore oil and gas operations (OSD).
The Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution by Sewage and Garbage from Ships) Regulations 2008 These Regulations cover articles 3, 4 and 5 of the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution by Sewage and Garbage) Order 2006(a), article 2 of the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution) (Law of the Sea Convention) Order 1996 and section 128(5), and (6) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 and implement both the revised Annex IV of MARPOL 73/78 – Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships, and the Annex V of MARPOL 73/78 (including amendments) – Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships. These Regulations came into force on 1 February 2009.
The Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Oil Pollution) Regulations 2019 These Regulations implement Annex I (Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Oil) of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 (the MARPOL Convention). Further amendments have been made to the Annex which are also implemented by these Regulations. As a consequence, the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Oil Pollution) Regulations 1996 and other instruments which amend them are revoked.
The Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution from Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk) Regulations SI 2018/68 They contain provisions which aim to prevent the discharge of dangerous or noxious liquid substances in the sea, and apply in particular to ships carrying such substances in bulk.
The Merchant Shipping (Pollution) Act 2006 This Act of 2006 enables the Government to implement Annex VI of the MARPOL 73/78 Convention and amends the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 to enable implementation of Annex VI using the same powers used to implement other MARPOL 73/78 Annexes and received Royal Assent on 30 March 2006.
The Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) Regulations 2008 The Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) Regulations 2008 implement Annex VI in the UK. Some aspects of Annex VI are already in place including requirement for marine fuel oil suppliers to be registered and limits set on NOx emissions from marine diesel engines (including those on offshore installations). These Regulations came into force on 8 December 2008. The 2008 Regulations were amended by the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) (Amendment) Regulations 2010 which came into force on 20 April 2010.
The Offshore Chemicals Regulations 2002

Offshore operations involving the use and/or discharge of ‘defined’ chemicals must be the subject of a chemical permit which came into force on 15 May 2002. Amendments to the Offshore Chemicals Regulations 2002, made under Schedule 2 of the Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) Regulations 2005 (OPPC) increase the powers of BEIS inspectors to investigate non-compliances and risk of significant pollution from chemical discharges, including the issue of prohibition or enforcement notices. A further amendment to the Offshore Chemicals (Amendment) Regulations came into force in March 2011.

Covid-19 update: Where, before 5 September 2021, it is not reasonably practicable for the public to inspect copies of documents at a specific address, a copy of the permit application can be published on a publicly accessible website. The newspaper notice must therefore specify the web address at which the documents can be accessed.

The Offshore Chemicals and Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 These regulations remove the requirement for offshore oil and gas operators to make relevant documents available for public inspection at a specified address in the UK, if it is not reasonably practical to allow the public to inspect these documents, due to the COVID – 19 pandemic.
The Offshore Environmental Civil Sanctions Regulations 2018

These Regulations give the Secretary of State the power to impose civil sanctions under (and therefore implement) the following legislation:

  • Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Convention) Regulations SI 1998/1056;
  • Offshore Chemicals Regulations SI 2002/1355;
  • Offshore Installations (Emergency Pollution Control) Regulations SI 2001/1861;
  • Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) Regulations SI 2005/2055;
  • Offshore Combustion Installations (Pollution Prevention and Control) Regulations SI 2013/971.
The Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 2007 These Regulations, which came into force on 21 August 2007, make provision for implementing the Birds Directive and Habitats Directive in relation to marine areas where the United Kingdom has jurisdiction beyond its territorial sea. The Regulations make provision for the selection, registration and notification of sites in the offshore marine area (European Offshore Marine Sites) and for the management of these sites. Competent authorities are required to ensure that steps are taken to avoid the disturbance of species and deterioration of habitat in respect of the offshore marine sites and that any significant effects are considered before authorisation of certain plans or projects. Provisions are also in place for issuing of licences for certain activities and for undertaking monitoring and surveillance of offshore marine sites. Subsequent amendments were made to these Regulations in 2010 and 2012, the latter coming into force on 16 August 2012.
The Offshore Combustion Installations (Pollution Prevention and Control) Regulations 2013 as amended

The Offshore Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Regulations 2013 transpose the relevant provisions of the Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU in respect to specific atmospheric pollutants from combustion installations with a thermal capacity rating in excess of 50 MW on offshore platforms undertaking oil and gas production and gas and CO2 unloading and storage. In this context, the obligations of the Offshore PPC Regulations 2013 on the offshore oil and gas industry basically mirror those of the Offshore Combustion Installations PPC Regulations 2001 (as amended), which ceased to apply after 07 January 2014. This Instrument came into effect on 19 May 2013.

The latest amendment is the Offshore Combustion Installations (Pollution Prevention and Control) (Amendment) Regulations SI 2018/798.

The Offshore Installations (Safety Zones) Order 2018 SI 2018/807
Article 2 of this Order establishes, under section 22 of the Petroleum Act 1987, safety zones having a radius of 500 metres from the specified point around the 38 installations (which are subsea installations) specified in the Schedule to this Order stationed, or to be stationed, in waters to which section 21(7) of that Act applies (these include territorial waters and waters in areas designated under section 1(7) of the Continental Shelf Act 1964 (c. 29)).
The Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case etc.) Regulations 2015 The Offshore Installation (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case etc.) Regulations 2015 came into force on the 19 July 2015 replacing the 2005 Safety Case Regulations. The 2015 Regulations will implement the EC Directive on safety of offshore oil and gas operations 2013/30/EU. The EU has put Directive in place a set of rules to help prevent accidents, as well as respond promptly and efficiency should one occur. The 2015 Regulations provide for the preparation of safety cases for offshore installations and the notification of specified activities to the competent authority.

The Offshore Petroleum Activities (Conservation Habitats) Regulations 2001

The Offshore Petroleum Activities (Conservation of Habitats) (Amendment) Regulations 2007

The 2001 Regulations of the same name applies the Habitats Directive and the Wild Birds Directive in relation to oil and gas plans and projects wholly or partially on the UK continental shelf and adjacent waters outside territorial waters (UKCS). Any plan or project which that would be likely to have a significant effect on a designated site must be subject to Habitats Regulatory Assessment of its implications for the site’s conservation objectives. This Regulation entered into force on 18 February 2007.
The Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) Regulations 2005 as amended These Regulations, which entered force on 21 July 2005, introduced a permitting system for oil discharges and replace the requirement for an exemption under POPA. These Regulations do not require a permit for discharge of OBM/OPF and SBMs as these are permitted under the Offshore Chemical Regulations 2002. However any material being discharged or reinjected that has been contaminated by hydrocarbons from the reservoir will require a permit. The 2005 Regulation were amended in 2011 (he Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) (Amendment) Regulations 2011). The amended Regulations introduced a number of changes to the Regulations. This includes a new definition of “offshore installation” which encompasses all pipelines – some of which were not previously covered by the OPPC Regulations. The amending OPPC Regulations also include the concept of “release” to cover all unintentional emissions of oil that occur through accidental spills / leaks or non-operational discharges. Intentional emissions are now clarified as discharges. These Regulations came into force on 29 March 2011.
The Offshore Petroleum Licensing (Offshore Safety Directive) Regulations 2015 They implement Directive 2013/30/EU, on safety of offshore oil and gas operations, and make provisions regarding offshore licenses and came into force on 19 July 2015. The Regulations implement the Offshore Safety Directives requirements relating to licensing and certain environmental matters relating to emergency response, and are produced by BEIS.
The Offshore Petroleum Production and Pipe-lines (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulation 1999 as amended

The Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration, Production, Unloading and Storage (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2020 replaces the Offshore Petroleum Production and Pipelines (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1999 (as amended).

These introduce new elements to be included in Environmental Statements including:

  • More focus on description of project alternatives and strategies to minimise atmospheric emissions;
  • Assessment of impacts resulting from the vulnerability of the project to risks of major accidents or disasters, including those caused by climate change;
  • Consideration of the Government’s Net Zero strategy

Introducing an optional near-final draft Environmental Statement to OPRED.

The Oil and Gas Authority (Offshore Petroleum) (Retention of Information and Samples) Regulations SI 2018/514 They set out requirements for the retention of petroleum-related information and samples (as defined in the Energy Act 2016) by certain relevant persons, also defined in the Energy Act 2016.
The Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulations 2015 These Regulations provide for the enforcement of EC Regulation 1005/2009 on substances that delete the ozone layer (as amended). The Regulations may be cited as the Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulations 2015 and came into force on 7 March 2015. These Regulations replace and consolidate the Ozone-Depleting Substances (Qualifications) Regulations 2009 and the Environmental Protection (Controls on Ozone-Depleting Substances) Regulations 2011.
The Petroleum Licensing (Applications) Regulations 2015 These Regulations came into force on 30 June 2015 and apply to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They set out the requirements for licence applications for: 1. Landward petroleum exploration; 2. Seaward petroleum exploration; 3. Methane drainage; 4. Petroleum exploration and development; and 5. Seaward area production. The primary legislation to the 2015 Regulation is the Petroleum Act 1998.
The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012 The Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) (Scotland) Regulations set out a system to control pollution from any installation or mobile plant carrying out specified activities through permits, inspections and control of emissions. The regulation covers the inclusion of best available techniques (BAT). These regulations came into force on 7 January 2013 and extend to Scotland only. The PPC regulations cover onshore air emission activities in Scotland.
The REACH Enforcement Regulations 2008 as amended The EC REACH Regulations, which entered into force on 1 June 2007, are directly applicable in the UK, however the REACH Enforcement Regulations 2008 provide the regulatory framework for REACH in the UK. The UK REACH Regulations apply to all offshore installations but not ships. BEIS has issued an Advisory Note on Offshore Application of REACH. The latest amendment to the 2008 Regulations came into force on 16 December 2013.
The Waste Management Licensing (Scotland) Regulations 2011 These Regulations came into forced on 27 March 2011 and consolidate the waste management licensing and exemption system contained in the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 as amended. They also make certain changes to that system (including the introduction of new exemptions from the requirement for licensing and the adjustment of various existing exemptions) and contain provision for the purpose of implementing Directive 2008/98/EC on waste.