Environmental Protection Act 1996
It comprises ten sections.
- Part I: Preliminary section;
- Part II: Establishment and functions of agency;
- Part III: Administration;
- Part IV: Environmental impact assessments;
- Part V: Prevention and control of pollution;
- Part VI: Financial assurance;
- Part VII: Investigations, prosecutions, civil proceedings;
- Part VIII: Establishment and jurisdiction of environmental appeals tribunal;
- Part IX: Environmental trust fund and finances
- Part X: Miscellaneous
The Act contains various institutional arrangements. Part II establishes the Environmental Protection Agency and sets out the function of the agency. Part III sets up more institutional arrangements and addresses issues such as appointments and remuneration, delegation of authority and powers, as well as directions. Part IV, section 13(1), sets up the Environmental Assessment Board, and Part VIII, section 51, establishes the Environmental Appeal Tribunal. Part IX establishes an Environmental Trust Fund, which is used to fund the operations of the Agency.
Part IV outlines the requirements for environmental impact assessment. Pursuant to section 11(4) every environmental impact assessment must be carried out by and independent and suitably qualified person approved by the Agency and shall identify, describe and evaluate the direct and indirect effects of the proposed project on the environmental including climatic factors. Section 11(5) therefore requires necessary information to include emissions of the proposed project.
Part X leaves room for further regulations by the Minister for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of the Act.
This Act was amended by Environmental Protection (Amendment) Act 2005 (No. 17 of 2005). Section 11(3)(a) was amended by extending the term of appeal against a decision of the Environmental Assessment Board; section 52 regarding the constitution of the Environmental Appeals Tribunal; and section 55 in relation to the term for the filing of appeal notices.