Sepa gets backing for reforms

11th January 2013

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Control ,
  • Prevention & Control ,
  • Environment agencies



Proposals to simplify and integrate the regulatory framework in Scotland for waste, water, industrial pollution and radioactive substances have received backing from Scottish businesses and environmental groups

A consultation on the plans by the Scottish government and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) ended on 4 August last year, and analysis of the feedback by the regulator reveals strong support for the proposals.

Overall, 82% of the 89 respondents agreed that an integrated framework for licences, permits and rules controlling potentially harmful activities would provide more effective protection of the environment and human health.

Respondents also support changes to the enforcement tools available to the regulator, which Sepa says would enable it to adopt a more proportionate, risk-based approach to deter non-compliance.

Commenting on the favourable response, Sepa chair David Sigsworth said: “We want to work with businesses to make it simpler and easier to comply with environmental regulations, but we won’t let wanton lawbreakers undermine legitimate operations.

“In the future, Sepa will have more direct powers to complement our existing enforcement tools and provide new ways to protect the environment.”

Respondents to the consultation did raise several concerns with the proposed new regime, however, including the route for appeals to enforcement decisions, the need for clarity on enforcement policy, and implementing the new framework.

Sepa says it is now working with the Scottish government and businesses to build a consensus on the way forward.

Meanwhile, the government says plans for a single environmental permissions and compliance system will be included in its Better Regulation Bill, which it will shortly introduce to the Scottish parliament.

In addition to enabling Sepa to adopt a more risk-based approach to regulation, the Bill will also aim to address regulatory inconsistencies and introduce further changes to the planning system.

Transform articles

Regulator publishes new code to tackle 'greenwashing'

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a new 'Green Claims Code' to ensure businesses are not misleading consumers about their environmental credentials.

22nd September 2021

Read more

The UK government must develop regulation to stop the financial sector from providing billions of pounds to companies that threaten rainforests worldwide, WWF has said.

10th September 2021

Read more

Over two million hectares of Brazilian rainforest could be legally converted to supply the UK with soy under a new anti-deforestation law proposed by the government, the WWF has found.

26th August 2021

Read more

The Better Business Act would put responsibility to society and the environment on the same footing as responsibility to shareholders, explains Chris Turner

30th July 2021

Read more

In Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for judicial review of the legality of the defendants’ joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as a substitute for UK participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).

30th July 2021

Read more

Thames Water has been fined £4m after untreated sewage escaped from sewers below London into a park and a river.

30th July 2021

Read more

In R. (on the application of Hudson) v Windsor and Maidenhead RBC, the appellant appealed against a decision to uphold the local authority’s grant of planning permission for the construction of a holiday village at the Legoland Windsor Resort.

28th May 2021

Read more

Are voluntary commitments enough to make the private sector act on waste? David Burrows explores the issues

28th May 2021

Read more

Government announcements on infrastructure reveal a direction of travel but key details are still unknown, says Huw Morris

29th January 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert