SEPA highlights changes to industry pollution regulations

date10 January 2013

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is raising awareness of a new set of regulations, produced to tackle industrial pollution in Scotland.

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Made by the Scottish Government, the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (PPC 2012) came into force earlier this week, replacing the previous regime from 2000, and will be enforced by SEPA. The new regulations implement the requirements of the European Union's Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) which aims to minimise pollution from various industrial activities throughout Europe.

Changes to the regulations include:

  • restructuring and rewording of regulations (although powers and provisions will remain largely the same);
  • increased status for European Commission Best Available Techniques (BAT) Reference Documents which must be the main reference point for setting permit conditions;
  • greater transparency of information for public consumption;
  • minor changes to monitoring and reporting protocols, site condition reporting and SEPA's enforcement powers, among others.

The changes mainly affect existing PPC Part A* permit holders with a small number affecting those with Part B** permits. The 2012 regulations will also see a number of new activities, within the food and drink, waste and wood preserving sectors, incorporated into the PPC regime.

Speaking of the new regulations, Wendy Thornton, PPC Specialist at SEPA, said:

Following changes to European legislation, the new regulations were essential to help Scotland meet the requirements of the Industrial Emissions Directive. It was important to establish an integrated way of dealing with environmental issues, and these new regulations will help us protect the environment to the best of our abilities.

The changes will impact on different businesses in different ways, so we would encourage anyone who is uncertain of how they may be affected, or would like further information, to get in touch."

To find out more about the changes and the impacts they may have on businesses and industries, visit SEPA's website or email


Notes to Editors

  • The new regulations can be found here:
  • Operators with existing PPC Permits will continue to operate under the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000 (as amended) until 7 January 2014.
  • New operators will be permitted under the new 2012 regulations.
  • PPC 2012 introduces new activities to regulation under Pollution Prevention and Control. Those installations that were already operating by 7 January 2013 must obtain a permit by 7 July 2015.  SEPA's website sets out an application timetable for these activities within the food and drink, waste, wood preservation and waste water treatment sectors.

* Part A activities are generally larger industrial activities.  Permits issued to Part A operators can permit discharges to land, air and water. Part A activities are listed under the Part A headings in Schedule 1 to the Regulations.

** Part B activities are generally smaller industrial activities.  Permits issued to Part B operators can permit discharges to air only. Part B activities are listed under the Part B headings in Schedule 1 to the Regulations.