Waste Management Act, 1996

Powers of authorised person.

14.—(1) An authorised person may, for any purpose connected with this Act—

(a) at all reasonable times, or at any time if he or she has reasonable grounds for believing that there may be a risk of environmental pollution arising from the carrying on of an activity at the premises or that such pollution is occurring, enter any premises and bring thereon such other persons (including members of the Garda Síochána) or equipment as he or she may consider necessary for the purpose, and

(b) at any time halt and board any vehicle and require the driver of the vehicle to take it to a place designated by the authorised person, and such a vehicle may be detained at that place by the authorised person for such period as he or she may consider necessary for the purpose.

(2) Subject to subsection(7), an authorised person shall not, other than with the consent of the occupier, enter into a private dwelling under this section unless he or she has given to the occupier of the dwelling not less than 24 hours notice in writing of his or her intended entry.

(3) Every authorised person shall be furnished with a certificate of his or her appointment and when exercising any power conferred on him or her by or under this Act, the authorised person shall, if requested by any person affected, produce the certificate to that person.

(4) Whenever an authorised person enters any premises or boards any vehicle, pursuant to this section, the authorised person may therein, as appropriate—

(a) make such plans, take such photographs and carry out such inspections,

(b) make such tests and take such samples,

(c) carry out such surveys, take such levels, make such excavations and carry out such examinations of depth and nature of subsoil,

(d) require that the premises or vehicle or any part of the premises or anything in the premises or vehicle shall be left undisturbed for such period,

(e) require from an occupier of the premises or any occupant of the vehicle or any person employed on the premises or any other person on the premises, such information,

(f) require the production of and inspect such records and documents, and take copies of or extracts from, or take away if considered necessary for the purposes of inspection or examination, any such records or documents,

as the authorised person, having regard to all the circumstances, considers necessary for the purposes of exercising any power conferred on him or her by or under this Act.

(5) (a) An authorised person who, having entered any premises or boarded any vehicle, pursuant to this section, considers that waste thereon or therein is such, or is being handled or transported in such manner, as to constitute a risk of environmental pollution, may direct the holder of such waste to take such measures as are considered by that authorised person to be necessary to remove that risk, including the disposal of the waste, in such manner and place and within such period as the authorised person may specify.

(b) If a holder of waste fails to comply with a direction of an authorised person under this subsection, the authorised person may do all things as are necessary to ensure that the direction is carried out and the costs incurred by him or her in doing any such thing shall be recoverable from the holder of the waste by him or her, or the person by whom he or she was appointed, as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(6) Any person who—

(a) refuses to allow an authorised person to enter any premises or board any vehicle or to take any person or equipment with him or her in the exercise of his or her powers under this section,

(b) obstructs or impedes an authorised person in the exercise of any of his or her powers under this section,

(c) gives either to an authorised person, a relevant local authority or the Agency, information which to his or her knowledge is false or misleading in a material respect, or

(d) fails or refuses to comply with any requirement of this section or of an authorised person,

shall be guilty of an offence.

(7) (a) Where an authorised person in the exercise of his or her powers under this section is prevented from entering any premises or if an authorised person has reason to believe that evidence related to a suspected offence under this Act may be present in any premises and that the evidence may be removed therefrom or destroyed, the authorised person or the person by whom he or she was appointed may apply to a judge of the District Court for a warrant under this subsection authorising the entry by the authorised person into the premises.

(b) If on application being made to him or her under this subsection, a judge of the District Court is satisfied, on the sworn information of the applicant, that the authorised person concerned has been prevented from entering a premises as aforesaid or that the authorised person has reasonable grounds for believing the other matters aforesaid, the judge may issue a warrant under his or her hand authorising that person, accompanied, if the judge deems it appropriate so to provide, by such number of members of the Garda Síochána as may be specified in the warrant, at any time or times within 1 month from the date of the issue of the warrant, on production if so requested of the warrant, to enter, if need be by force, the premises concerned and exercise the powers referred to in subsection (4) or (5).

(8) An authorised person may, in the exercise of any power conferred on him or her by this Act involving the bringing of any vehicle to any place, or where he or she anticipates any obstruction in the exercise of any other power conferred on him or her by or under this Act, request a member of the Garda Síochána to assist him or her in the exercise of such a power and any member of the Garda Síochána of whom he or she makes such a request shall comply therewith.

(9) An authorised person may enter on land for the purpose of assessing the suitability of the land for waste disposal; such an entry shall be subject to the relevant provisions of section 83 (other than subsection (6)) of the Act of 1963 as if it were an entry made under that section.

(10) The Minister may make regulations for the purposes of this section.

(11) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (10), regulations under this section may provide for all or any of the following matters—

(a) the taking of samples and the carrying out of tests, examinations and analyses,

(b) the specification of the classes of persons to be responsible for taking such samples and for the carrying out of such tests, examinations and analyses, or

(c) the specification of the certificate or other evidence to be given of the result of any such test, examination or analysis and the class or classes of person by whom such certificate or evidence is to be given.

(12) Any certificate or other evidence given or to be given in respect of any prescribed test, examination or analysis of any sample shall in relation to that sample be evidence, without further proof, of the result of the test, examination or analysis unless the contrary is shown.