Scottish compliance edges up

26th November 2014


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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Management ,
  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Control

Author

Afua Yeboa-Henaku

Almost 90% of operators regulated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) under its compliance assessment scheme (CSA) achieved an excellent or good rating in 2013.

Sepa's report states that, of the 3,991 licensed activities assessed as part of the scheme last year, 2,951 (74%) were rated as excellent, 592 (15%) as good and 66 (2%) as broadly compliant, which means they reached a satisfactory level of performance. The overall proportion of sites achieving one of three compliant ratings in 2013 was 90.4%, a slight improvement on the 89% recorded in 2012.

A total of 116 (3%) sites, meanwhile, received an at risk classification, while 218 (5%) were ranked as very poor. One ranked as very poor in 2013 was the Dargavel energy-from-waste plant in Dumfries. The agency revoked the site’s pollution prevention and control permit in September last year, and the operators, Scotgen, subsequently decided not to appeal against the decision. The site has been non-operational since a fire in July 2013.

Another site ranked as very poor was the waste transfer station at Armadale in West Lothian operated by Doonin Plant. In 2012, the haulage and recycling company was ordered to pay a record £200,000 penalty for illegally dumping waste.

Last year was the first time Sepa carried out assessments under the CSA on water resource activities regulated under the Controlled Activities Regulations. These range from large-scale public water supply or industrial abstractions to smaller scale irrigation schemes. Of the 1,187 water resource sites assessed, 73% were considered compliant in 2013. The main cause of non-compliance for water resource sites was the failure to supply data returns required by the licence.

Sepa has also reported that greenhouse-gas emissions from regulated sites fell by 8% in 2013 compared with 2012. For example, carbon dioxide emissions last year from the 1,335 sites providing data to the Scottish pollutant release inventory totalled 21.1 million tonnes, down from 22.9 million tonnes in 2012.

Martin Marsden, Sepa’s head of environmental quality, said the reduction in GHG emissions last year was largely due to the closure of Cockenzie power station in East Lothian, which ceased operation in March 2103 after more than 45 years.

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