Pollution Prevention and Discharge Legislation
|Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters 1998
|The Aarhus Convention was signed in June 1998 to grant the public rights regarding information access, public participation and access to justice, in governmental decision-making processes on matters concerning the local, national and transboundary environment; focusing on interactions between the public and public authorities. The Convention entered into force on 30 October 2001.
|Bonn Agreement for cooperation in dealing with pollution of the North Sea by oil and other harmful substances, 1983
Within the Bonn Agreement (1983) area there are two further interstate agreements which set out provision for a joint response by the Contracting States and also how the use of state intervention may be utilised when one or other’s interests are threatened. The instrument of accession entered into force on 1 April 2010.
The European Union agreed to adopt the Bonn Agreement Strategic Action Plan (BASAP) 2019 – 2025. The BASAP 2019-2025 is intended to facilitate the implementation of the Bonn Agreement in order to contribute to the prevention of marine pollution at large and meet future challenges such as energy transition and the pressure on marine spatial planning that can introduce other risks at sea. The UK, as a Contracting Party of the Bonn Agreement, will implement the BASAP 2019-2025. The Action Plan includes expanding the scope of application of the Bonn Agreement to include air pollution caused by shipping.
The BASAP is adopted within the UK through Retained EU Decision 2019/1727 on the position to be adopted on behalf of the European Union at the Second Ministerial Meeting of the Bonn Agreement with regard to the Ministerial Declaration and the Bonn Agreement Strategic Action Plan (BASAP) 2019-2025 annexed thereto which became retained EU law through the European Union (Withdrawal Act) 2018.
|Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter 1972 (London Dumping Convention) – and its 1996 protocol, joint long-term programme (2014-2016).
|The objective of this Convention is primarily the prevention of pollution associated with dumping to sea from ships and aircraft. Discharges “incidental to or derived from normal operation” of ships and aircraft are excluded from the definition of dumping. Definition of a ship includes fixed and floating offshore installations. The Protocol entered into force on 24 March 2006. Reinjection of Mud Cuttings – reinjection of drill cuttings in field is allowed as a “normal” operational waste. Collection and shipment of drill cuttings to another field or site for reinjection, is possible under the Convention provided a FEPA licence is obtained.
|This Convention was adopted by the IMO on 13 February 2004, and will enter force 12 months after ratification by 30 States, representing 35 per cent of world merchant shipping tonnage. As of 12 February 2015, 44 States have ratified the Convention, representing 32.9% of the world merchant fleet tonnage . The Convention provides for requirements for reception facilities, research and monitoring programmes, ballast water record books, ship survey and certification and technical requirements for the control and management of ships’ ballast water and sediments.On the 28 May 2015 a list of ballast water management systems that make us of active substances received basic and final approval was published by IMO.
This was amended on 13 October 2019. This amendment (available here) includes a schedule for ships to comply with the D2 standard, which specifies the maximum number of organisms permitted to be discharged from a vessel. In addition, this amendment also makes it mandatory that Ballast Water Management systems are approved by the Administration in accordance with IMO guidelines.
|IMO Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments – Australia
|The Australian Government is introducing new ballast water management requirements under the Biosecurity Act (2015) for ships engaged in international voyages. Changes include ballast water exchanges to take place 12 nm from the coast or outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef or part of the Torres Strait.
|International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) 73/78 – Annex 1
|Annex I of MARPOL sets discharge limits for oil-in-water as well as a series of operational and construction standards for ships including means of retaining oily wastes on board, oil-in-water separation and discharge monitoring systems, segregated ballast, crude oil washing and double hulls. This instrument was introduced on 2 October 1983.
|International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) 73/78 – Annex 2
Annex II of MARPOL controls pollution by noxious liquid substances and establishes a categorisation system for noxious and liquid substances and specifies permitted discharge limits for these substances. Annex II also requires for chemical tankers built after July 1986 to comply with the International Bulk Chemical (IBC) Code.
Annex II also outlines the control measures for offshore support vessels other than chemical tankers and liquified gas carriers that are permitted to carry noxious liquid substances in bulk. Amendments to the IBC Code in IMO Resolution MEPC.318(74) came into force in January 2021 and imposed revised carriage requirements for substances listed under Annex II on MARPOL. MGN 649 (M) Amendment 1 Application of MARPOL Annex II to offshore support vessels sets out the implications of the amendment to IBC code on offshore support vessels that are less restricted in the substances they can carry.
|International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC Convention)
|The OPRC Convention which entered into force 13 May 1995 requires the UK to ensure that operator’s have a formally approved Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (OPEP) in place for each offshore operation, or agreed grouping of facilities. All parties must prepare for and respond to an oil pollution incident. The convention applies to all facilities which present a risk of an oil pollution incident and includes, inter alia, all sea ports, oil terminals, pipelines and other oil handling facilities. All Oil Pollution Emergency Plans must be coordinated with the national system and approved in accordance with procedures established by the competent national authority.
|MARPOL 73/78 (93 as amended) Annex I – Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Oil
|Annex I applies to all oil tankers of 150 gross register tonnage (GRT) and above and all vessels of 400 GRT and above. There is a prohibition of oily discharges inside the 3 nautical mile limit. Oil or oily mixtures associated with drainage must not exceed 15ppm. New vessels greater than 400 GRT must have an oil/water separator. A Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) must be maintained and updated. An International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPP) must be obtained and renewed on a 5 yearly basis.
|MARPOL 73/78 (93 as amended) Annex IV Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships
|The discharge of sewage into the sea is prohibited, except when the ship has approved sewage treatment facilities or when the ship is discharging comminute and disinfected sewage using an approved system at a distance of more than 3 nm from the nearest land. Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships entered into force on 2 October 1983.
|MARPOL 73/78 (93 as amended) Annex VI Amendments
This annex limits air pollutant concentrations in ship exhaust gas. It places controls on discharges of hazardous substances from ship diesels such as volatile organic compounds, sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide and ozone depleting substances. Several amendments took effect in 2020 including:
Other amendments were implemented in April 2022, including:
Amendments to the requirements for gas carriers, cargo and LNG vessel Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) requirements for ships built from 2022 to ensure these vessels are more energy efficient.
|OSPAR Recommendation 2012/5 for a risk-based approach (RBA) to the Management of Produced Water Discharges from Offshore Installations
|The RBA recommendation came into force in 29 June 2012 and aims to achieve, by 2020, a reduction of oil in produced water discharged into the sea to a level which will adequately ensure that each of those discharges will present no harm to the marine environment, and a reduction in discharges of hazardous substances via produced water with the ultimate aim of achieving concentrations in the marine environment that are near background values for naturally occurring substances and close to zero for man-made synthetic substances.
|OSPAR Recommendation 2001/1 for the Management of Produced Water from Offshore Installations as amended by OSPAR Recommendation 2006/4
|OSPAR Recommendation 2001/1, which came into force on 29 June 2001, for the Management of Produced Water from Offshore Installations as amended by OSPAR Recommendation 2006/4.
|OSPAR Recommendation 2006/5 on a management scheme for offshore cuttings piles
|This recommendation sets out measures to reduce pollution from oil or other chemicals from cuttings piles. The first stage of the Recommendation is to be carried out within two years of the Recommendation coming into effect with the second stage completed in a pre-determined time frame laid out in Stage 1. This Recommendation had effect from 30 June 2006.
|OSPAR Recommendation 2010/18 on the prevention of significant acute oil pollution from offshore drilling activities
|This recommendation came into force in September 2010 and establishes a process for assessing the relevance of the results of the US and EC reviews of the Macondo well incident with a view to taking additional action by the OSPAR Commission if needed and within the scope of the Convention. Under the recommendation, contracting parties are required to: as a precaution continue or, as a matter of urgency, start reviewing existing frameworks, including the permitting of drilling activities in extreme conditions; and continue to evaluate this on a case by case basis and prior to permitting; take extra care to apply all relevant learning from the Deepwater Horizon accident; report on this ongoing activity to OSPAR; and based on the reviews undertaken, contracting parties should individually and jointly, if needed, take further action within the scope of the OSPAR Convention.
|Dangerous Vessel Act 1985
|This act requires harbour authorities to have a contingency plan to deal with the threat posed by dangerous vessels and should cover the treat of marine pollution from such vessels and came into effect in 1985.
|Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Commencement No. 20) (Scotland) Order 2015
|Laid before the Scottish Parliament on the 20th February 2015, this Act came into force on the 1st April 2015.
|Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999
This act sets out regulations for the prevention of pollution. Section 3 of this act relates to the prevention of pollution after accidents involving offshore installations. The following orders list the directives pertinent to this act for England and Wales:
|The Dangerous Substances in Harbour Areas Regulations 1987
|These regulations, which came into force on 1 June 1987, dictate that harbour authorities have a duty to prepare emergency plans for dealing with substances which are dangerous, owing to their condition or to the condition of their packaging, or of the vessel on which they are being carried where this is such as to create a risk to Health and Safety.
|The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 as amended
|The 2010 Regulations covers facilities previously covered under the pollution prevention and control regulations 2007, coming into force on the 6 April 2010 extending to England and Wales only. The Principle offences under the regulations are operating a regulated facility without a permit, causing or knowingly permitting a water discharge activity or groundwater activity without a permit. There have been a number of amendments to The 2010 Regulations, with the latest amendment coming into force on 21 March 2015. These Regulations provide a consolidated system of environmental permitting for England and Wales, and extend the range of activities that require an environmental permit.
|The Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2012
|These regulations implement EU Directive 2009/18/EC on the investigation of accidents in the maritime transport sector. The regulations set out the procedures for dealing with specified casualties and incidents which are collectively defined as an “accident”, including the purpose and scope of an investigation and how an investigation is to be conducted and which accidents and incidents may be investigated. Accident means “a marine casualty, which is an event or sequence of events that has resulted in any of the following and has occurred directly by or in connection with the operation of a ship involving”….including “pollution, or the potential for such pollution to the environment caused by damage to a ship or ships”. These Regulations came into effect on 31 July 2012.
|The Merchant Shipping (Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments) Regulations 2022
These regulations implement the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments. The convention aims to minimise the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens by prohibiting the discharge of unmanaged ballast water and sediments. These regulations prohibit the discharge of ballast water or sediments unless a ballast water management plan is being followed which meets the criteria set by these regulations. Certain ships > 400 tonnes will be subject to inspection to ensure compliance with these regulations. The regulations apply to all UK ships and all non-UK ships whilst in UK waters. These regulations were made using the powers provided by the Merchant Shipping (Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments) Order 2022.
MGN 675 provides guidance on these regulations.
|The Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response & Co-operation Convention) Regulations 1998 as amended
|These regulations created under the provision of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, serve to implement in UK law the oil spill planning requirements of the OPRC Convention. Regulation 3 of the above defines harbours and oil handling facilities are required to have oil spill emergency plans in place, and includes; any oil handling facility offering berths alongside, on buoys or at anchor, to ships over 400 Gross Registered Tonnes (GRT) or oil tankers over 150 GRT; any oil handling facility in respect of which the Secretary of State (SoS) has served the operator with a notice stating that he is of the opinion that maritime activities are undertaken at that harbour or facility which involve a significant risk of discharge of over 10 tonnes of oil; and any other oil handling facility in respect of which the SoS has served the operator a notice stating that he is of the opinion that it is located in an area of significant environmental sensitivity, or in an area where a discharge of oil could cause significant economic damage. All facilities as defined above must complete an emergency Oil Pollution Emergency Plan in accordance with requirements of the regulations and secure formal approval of the plan from the national Competent Authority, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), conforming to the National Contingency Plan. These Regulations came into force on 15 May 1998. These Regulations have been amended by The Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Convention) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 on 19 July 2015, as a result of the new Offshore Safety Directive Regulations.
|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 2018
|The Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution from Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk) Regulations 2018 contain provisions to prevent the discharge of dangerous or noxious liquid substances in the sea, especially for ships carrying substances in bulk. These regulations implement Annex 2 of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973. These regulations were amended by The Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution from Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk and Prevention of Oil Pollution) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 to include amendments to the codes and guidelines that vessels should follow, clarify that the ban on discharging noxious liquid substances also refers to offshore support vessels and allow for a cargo record book to be in electronic format.
|The Merchant Shipping (Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships) Order 2022
This order enables the secretary of state to make regulations to implement under the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships, 2001, which entered into force in 2008. The convention aims to protect the marine environment from any harmful effects associated with anti-fouling systems.
The regulations that may be made under this order include those relating to surveys and inspections, certifications, offences and penalties, detaining of ships not complying with regulations.
|The Merchant Shipping (Reporting of Pollution Incidents) Regulations 1987 (POLREP)
|Require that the master of a ship involved in an incident involving actual or probable discharge of oil, noxious substance carried in bulk or marine pollutant in packaged form, report the particulars of the incident without delay. These Regulations entered into force on 6 April 1987.
|The Merchant Shipping (Ship to Ship Transfers) Regulations 2020
|These regulations came into force on 26 February 2020. They regulate ship to ship transfers of oil-based cargo or other potentially hazardous substances which could result in hazardous discharges at sea. Under these regulations, any cargo transfers or bunkering operations in UK waters is prohibited. They also put in place a legislative regime for assessing and licensing harbour authorities which propose to allow ship-to-ship transfers in their waters. These regulations consolidate the previous regulations of the same name and add several additional amendments relating to the authorisation of ship to ship transfers by harbour authorities and the Secretary of State. These regulations make minor amendments to the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 and the Conservation of Offshore Marine Habitats and Species Regulations 2017. The MCA released this Merchant Shipping Notice 1829, which should be read in conjunction with these regulations which sets out the procedures for ship-to-ship transfers of cargo consisting of wholly or mainly oil.
|The Offshore Chemicals and Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020
These Regulations came into force on 5 September 2020 and apply to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
They amend legislation relating to offshore chemicals and offshore petroleum activities in order to provide temporary modifications which are necessary due to the coronavirus pandemic. The modifications remove the requirement for offshore oil and gas operators to make certain documents available for public inspection where, because of the pandemic, it is not practical to have the public inspect documents at a public place. Those documents can instead be published on a website.
|The Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) (Amendment) Regulations 2011
|The Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 have 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 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 Pollution Prevention and Control (Fees) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2016
|The ‘Offshore Petroleum Activities (Conservation of Habitats) Regulations SI 2001/1754’ and the ‘Offshore Petroleum Production and Pipe-lines (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations SI 1999/360’ have recently been amended to include the inclusion of the ‘Pollution Prevention and Control (Fees) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations SI 2016/529’ which come into force on 1 June 2016.
|The Pollution Prevention and Control (Industrial Emissions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013
|These Regulations implement Directive 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions. The 2013 Regulations came into force on 20 June 2013 and apply to Northern Ireland only. These Regulations provide a consolidated system of environmental permitting for Northern Ireland, and extend the range of activities that require an environmental permit, including IPPC applications.
|The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012 as amended
|The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations (SSI 2012/360) have been published and replace the previous Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) (Regulations SSI 2000/323). Establishes mechanisms to control pollution from any installation carrying out specified activities through permits, inspections and emission control. Covers the inclusion of best available techniques (BAT) and standard rules in permits. These regulations revoke previous PPC legislation and came into effect on the 7 January 2014.
|The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2014
|These Regulations came into force on 30 October 2014, amended the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012, and serve to transpose Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on energy efficiency (“the Energy Efficiency Directive”) and Directive 2010/75 of the European Parliament and of the Council on industrial emissions. SEPA must now include in any new permit authorising the operation of a solvents installation, a condition requiring the operator of the installation to notify SEPA of any incident or accident significantly affecting the environment.
|The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2016
|This amends the 2012 PPC Regulations to take account of Commission Directive 2014/99/EU concerning the capture systems for petrol vapour at refuelling sites. This piece of legislation will come into force on the 12th May 2016.
|The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2017
|The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Amendment Regulations SSI 2017/446 amend the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2012/360.
|The Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003
|Cited as the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 , these Regulations came into force on 31 March 2003 and apply to Northern Ireland only.
|The Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 (Modification of Part 1) Regulations 2015
|The Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 sets out new arrangements for the protection of the water environment and makes changes with regard to funding for new connections to the public water and sewerage infrastructure.