SEPA outlines progress in new report

date19 March 2012

Scotland's environmental regulator, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), has released a new report today (Monday 19 March), outlining the progress it has made over the last year in delivering better environmental regulation.

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The report highlights the work SEPA has carried out with its partners and demonstrates how the agency has been adapting and improving as an organisation. The progress shown by the report underlines the joint efforts of SEPA and the Scottish Government to create a framework which supports a more streamlined approach to environmental regulation.

Some of the areas covered in the latest report include the agency's progress in risk-based regulation, citizen engagement, introduction of new services, and tackling important environmental issues, among others. Highlights of SEPA's progress in the last year include: the development of a new risk assessment and operator compliance model which works across environmental regimes; an initiative with the Riverfly Partnership, the Rivers and Fisheries Trust of Scotland (RAFTS) and other partners, to train anglers to assess the biological condition of the rivers they fish; and the introduction of Operation Willow – a project which targeted the unlicensed storage and treatment of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs).

Calum MacDonald, SEPA's Director of Operations, said:

Our proposals for better environmental regulation, developed with the Scottish Government, have put us on the right path and there is strong support for what we want to achieve. Helping the willing individual or business to comply, whilst dealing firmly, and swiftly, with the unwilling or blatant rule breakers, will continue to be at the heart of what we do. However, this needs to be under a simpler and more aligned environmental framework and the future funding model for SEPA."

Stewart Stevenson, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, said:

The Scottish Government and SEPA have been working together to create a regulatory framework which supports a simpler, more flexible, and risk-based approach to environmental regulation. We believe this will provide more effective and efficient protection of the environment, reduce the regulatory burden on business and enable SEPA to work with others to improve the environment. We will be consulting on detailed proposals to achieve this shortly."

The better regulations report can be accessed on the following webpage: