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As part of our commitment to continually improve our service and to help our clients meet their legal obligations, we continue to update the Legal Registers on our website and provide free quarterly legal compliance updates to anyone who subscribes. The purpose of these updates is to ensure you stay up to date with any changes in your legal compliance obligations, our updates can also be kept and can be used as evidence that your business is staying up to date with any changes in the legislation, this can be very helpful at audit time.
The Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 is the primary piece of environmental legislation in Northern Ireland. The order sets out a range of requirements for the protection and management of the environment, including the prevention and control of pollution, the conservation of natural habitats and biodiversity, and the regulation of waste management.
The order applies to a wide range of activities, including industrial and commercial activities, waste management, agriculture, and construction. It places a range of obligations on individuals and organisations to ensure that their activities do not cause harm to the environment, including obtaining permits, complying with environmental standards, and reporting incidents of pollution.
The order also establishes the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), which is responsible for enforcing the order and regulating activities that may have an impact on the environment. The NIEA has the power to investigate environmental incidents, issue enforcement notices, and prosecute individuals and organisations that breach environmental regulations.
Overall, the Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 aims to protect and improve the environment in Northern Ireland, ensuring that it is managed and used sustainably for future generations.
The Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 places a range of obligations on individuals and organisations to protect and manage the environment. These obligations include reporting environmental incidents, obtaining permits, and complying with environmental standards. Evidence requirements under the order may include:
1. Reporting requirements: Individuals and organisations must report environmental incidents to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) as soon as possible. The report should include details of the incident, the cause, and any measures taken to prevent or mitigate its effects.
2. Permit requirements: Certain activities, such as waste management, may require a permit from the NIEA. To obtain a permit, individuals and organisations must provide evidence of compliance with environmental standards, such as emissions limits, waste disposal requirements, and pollution prevention measures.
3. Compliance monitoring: The NIEA may carry out inspections or monitoring of activities to ensure compliance with environmental standards. Individuals and organisations must provide access to relevant information and records, such as monitoring data, emissions reports, and waste management plans.
4. Enforcement action: In the event of a breach of environmental regulations, the NIEA may take enforcement action, which may include prosecution or the imposition of fines. Individuals and organisations may be required to provide evidence of their compliance with environmental regulations to avoid or mitigate enforcement action.
Overall, the evidence requirements under the Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 are designed to ensure that individuals and organisations take the necessary steps to protect and manage the environment, and that they can provide evidence of compliance with environmental standards and regulations.
The Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 does not provide any general exemptions from environmental obligations, but certain activities may be exempt from specific requirements under the order. These exemptions may include:
1. Exemptions from permit requirements: Some activities, such as small-scale waste management, may be exempt from the need to obtain a permit from the NIEA. The criteria for exemption vary depending on the activity, and organisations must demonstrate that they meet the relevant criteria to qualify for exemption.
2. Exemptions for emergency situations: In some circumstances, such as during an emergency response to a pollution incident, organisations may be exempt from certain environmental requirements to enable them to take swift and effective action to protect the environment and public health.
3. Exemptions for research and development: Some research and development activities may be exempt from certain environmental requirements, provided that they are conducted under controlled conditions and are unlikely to cause harm to the environment.
4. Exemptions for certain types of waste: Certain types of waste may be exempt from certain waste management requirements if they meet specific criteria, such as being generated by households or being classified as low-risk waste.
It is important to note that exemptions under the Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 are specific to certain activities and requirements, and organisations must meet the relevant criteria to qualify for exemption. In some cases, exemptions may require organisations to meet alternative requirements or to take additional measures to protect the environment.
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Including our quarterly legal compliance updates that are a great resource for evidence for your ISO audits.