Thursday, 19 October 2006
Sea Pollution (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2003 [Seanad Bill amended by Dáil]: Report and Final Stages.
This is a Seanad Bill which has been amended by the Dáil. In accordance with Standing Order 103, it is deemed to have passed its First, Second and Third Stages in the Seanad and is placed on the Order Paper for Report Stage. On the question "That the Bill be received for final consideration", the Minister of State may explain the purpose of the amendments made by the Dáil. This is looked upon as the report of the Dáil amendments to the Seanad. For Senators' convenience, I have arranged for the printing and circulation of the amendments. The Minister of State will deal separately with the subject matter of each related group of amendments. I have circulated the proposed groupings. Senators may contribute once on each grouping. I remind them that the only matters which may be discussed are the amendments made by the Dáil.
I welcome the opportunity to return to the Seanad with the Bill, which was introduced in 2003. The Senators who dealt with it at that time will recall that the purpose of the Bill is to update our legislation in respect of the protection of the marine environment and to give effect in our law to several internationally agreed instruments. The Bill was passed by the Seanad in December 2003 and in the Dáil on 11 October last. It has been amended by the Dáil and reflects the developments that have occurred since it was passed by the Seanad and some of the concerns expressed by Senators in 2003.
The Dáil amended the Bill to include the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments — the BWM Convention — among the international instruments to which it refers. This convention was adopted internationally since the Bill was passed by the Seanad.
Group 1 of the amendments relates to the subject matter of amendments Nos. 1, 15 to 23, inclusive, and 25 to 30, inclusive, namely, the BWM Convention to which I just referred. Amendment No. 1 amends the Title of the Bill. Amendments Nos. 15, 17, 19, 21 and 22 are consequential drafting amendments. Amendment No. 23 includes a definition of the word "sediments". Amendments Nos. 25 and 30 involve changes to various provisions of the 1991 Act relating to the making of orders and regulations in respect of the MARPOL Convention. Section 36 of the Bill, as passed by the Seanad, provided for MARPOL, annex VI, and the AFS convention.
Group 2 relates to the subject matter of amendments Nos. 2, 3, 5, 6 and 31 to 33, inclusive, involving changes to the Harbours Act 1996 and the deletion of section 37 and section 38, which are concerned with passenger ship and boat licences.
Group 3 relates to the subject matter of amendments Nos. 4, 7, 10 and 11. These amendments arise out of the transfer of functions from the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources on 1 January 2006.
Group 4 relates to the subject matter of amendment No. 8 and amendment No. 12. These amendments involve the correction of printing errors in section 3 of the Bill by the deletion of the relevant text and the insertion of the phrases "Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001", in amendment No. 8, and "section 4", in amendment No. 12.
Group 5 relates to the subject matter of amendment No. 9 and amendment No. 13, involving the deletion of definitions of functions in light of the provisions of the Interpretation Act 2005.
Group 6 relates to the subject matter of amendment No. 14 and amendment No. 24. Amendment No. 14 involves the deletion of section 5(2) and amendment No. 24 inserts a new section 36 to enable the Minister to introduce regulations under the 1991 Act to give effect to EU instruments relating to issues covered by the MARPOL Convention.