Control of Pollution Act (COPA)

Applies to EnglandApplies to WalesApplies to Scotland

Title: Control of Pollution Act (COPA)

Category: England, Wales and Scotland Law

Date: 1974

Reference: ISBN 0105440744 [Full text not available]

General Description:

Under this act except in prescribed cases, a person shall not:

(a) deposit or cause or knowingly permit the deposit of controlled waste on any land;

(b) use or cause or knowingly permit the use of any plant or equipment for the purpose of disposing of controlled waste, unless the land is occupied by a holder of a disposal licence.

(1) Under part of this act, which controls the entry of polluting matter into water, a person shall be guilty of an offence if he causes or knowingly permits:

(a) any poisonous , noxious or polluting matter to enter any stream or controlled water or any specified underground water (hereafter collectively known as "relevant waters"); or

(b) any matter to enter a stream so as to tend to impede the proper flow of the water of the stream in a manner likely to lead to a substantial aggravation of pollution due to other causes or of the consequences of such pollution; or

(c) any solid waste matter to enter a stream or restricted waters.

(2) A person shall not be guilty of an offence under the previous section if:

(a) the entry in question is authorised by, or is a consequence of an act authorised by, a disposal licence or consent given by the Secretary of State or a water authority in pursuance of this act and the entry or act is in accordance with the conditions, if any, to which the licence or consent is subject; or

(b) the entry in question is authorised by, or is a consequence of an act authorised by-

(i) section 34 of the water act 1945

(ii) any provision of a local act or statutory order which expressly confers power to discharge effluent into water; or

(iii) any licence granted under the Dumping at Sea Act 1974; or

(c) the entry in question is attributable to an act or omission which is in accordance with good agricultural practice other than an act or omission which-

(i) is of a kind specified in a notice which is in force when the entry occurs and which was served in pursuance of subsection (3)(a) of section 51 of this act on the occupier or any previous occupier of the place where the act or omission occurs; and

(ii) occurs after the expiration of the period of twenty-eight days beginning with the date entered in the register mentioned in subsection (4) of that section as the date of service of the notice; or

(d) the entry in question is caused or permitted in an emergency in order to avoid danger to the public and, as soon as reasonably practicable after the entry occurs, particulars of the entry are furnished to the water authority in whose area it occurs; or

(e) the matter in question is trade or sewage effluent discharged as mentioned in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of the following section or matter discharged as mentioned in paragraph (b) or (c) of that subsection and the entry in question is not from a vessel;

A person shall not be guilty of an offence simply by his permitting water from an abandoned mine to enter relevant waters.

(3) A person shall not be guilty of an offence by his deposition of solid refuse of a mine or quarry on any land so that it falls or is carried into a stream or restricted waters if:

(a) he deposits the refuse on the land with the consent of the water authority in whose area the land is situated; and

(b) no other site for deposit is reasonably practicable; and

(c) he takes all reasonably practicable steps to prevent the refuse from entering the stream or restricted waters.

(4) A person shall be guilty of an offence if he causes or knowingly permits:

(a) any trade effluent or sewage effluent to be discharged-

(i) into any relevant water; or

(ii) from land in Britain through a pipe into the sea outside controlled waters; or

(iii) from a building or from plant on to or into land or into any lake, loch or pond which does not discharge into a stream; or

(b) any matter other than trade effluent or sewage effluent to be discharged into relevant waters from a sewer as defined by section 343 of the Public Health Act 1936 or, in Scotland, by section 59 (1) of the Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968 or from a drain as defined; or

(c) any matter other than trade or sewage effluent to be discharged into relevant waters from a drain which a highway authority or other person is entitled to keep open by virtue of highway act 1981, and in respect of which the water authority in whose area the discharge occurs has, not later than the beginning of the period of the three months ending with the date of discharge, served on the highway authority or other person a notice stating that this paragraph is to apply to the drain or works, unless the discharge is made with the consent in pursuance of section 34 of this Act.

Pertinence to Agriculture: Agricultural Pollution, Statutory Nuisance, Waste

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