Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992

Best available technology not entailing excessive costs.

5.—(1) Subject to subsection (3), a reference in this Act to the use of the best available technology not entailing excessive costs to prevent or eliminate, or where that is not practicable, to limit, abate or reduce an emission from an activity, shall be construed as meaning the provision and proper maintenance, use, operation and supervision of facilities which, having regard to all the circumstances, are the most suitable for the purposes.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), regard shall be had to—

(a) in the case of an activity other than an established activity—

(i) the current state of technical knowledge,

(ii) the requirements of environmental protection, and

(iii) the application of measures for these purposes, which do not entail excessive costs, having regard to the risk of significant environmental pollution which, in the opinion of the Agency, or any other licensing authority in relation to section 111 , exists;

(b) in any other case, in addition to the matters specified in paragraph (a)

(i) the nature, extent and effect of the emission concerned,

(ii) the nature and age of the existing facilities connected with the activity and the period during which the facilities are likely to be used or to continue in operation, and

(iii) the costs which would be incurred in improving or replacing the facilities referred to in subparagraph (ii) in relation to the economic situation of activities of the class concerned.

(3) (a) The Agency may, from time to time as occasion demands, specify the best available technology not entailing excessive costs for preventing, limiting, eliminating, abating or reducing such emissions as may be specified either from an activity or activities of a particular class or description and regard shall be had, in the administration of this Act, to any such specifications.

(b) Where the Agency specifies the best available technology not entailing excessive costs in relation to an emission from an activity as provided for in paragraph (a), a direction issued under section 5 (3) of the Air Pollution Act, 1987 , related to such emission shall cease to have effect in relation to such emission.

(4) Whenever the Agency issues a specification under subsection (3), it shall cause, as soon as may be—

(a) a copy of such specification to be sent to the Minister, each local authority, An Bord Pleanála and such other bodies, if any, as may be prescribed,

(b) notice of the issue of the specification to be published in Iris Oifigiúil and

(c) a copy of the specification to be made available to every person who makes application for such a copy on payment of such fee (if any) as the Agency shall fix not exceeding the reasonable cost of making the copy.

(5) Section 5 of the Air Pollution Act, 1987 , is hereby amended by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (4):

“(4A) Directions under subsection (3) shall not be issued in relation to an activity for the purposes of the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992, or in relation to any process, development or operation as regards which an order has been made, and remains in force, under section 95 of the said Act.”.

(6) In this section—

“facilities” includes plant and premises;

“an emission from an activity” includes a release of a genetically modified organism as defined in section 111 ;

“activity” includes any process or action involving a genetically modified organism.