Public consultation begins on new enforcement policy and guidance for environmental offences

date23 July 2015

Stakeholders are being invited by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), to provide feedback on a revised enforcement policy and guidance on the use of SEPA’s new enforcement tools.

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The consultation forms the next stage of public engagement on additional enforcement powers granted to SEPA under the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014. These powers will include the ability to issue fixed and variable monetary penalties and accept enforcement undertakings.  SEPA will also have the ability to recover costs from some investigations, while the new powers will help SEPA to take a more proportionate and effective approach to enforcement. 

Terry A’Hearn, Chief Executive of SEPA said:

We are committed to implementing the new enforcement tools in a proportionate and transparent way and stakeholder feedback on the proposed policy and guidance will help us to do this. 

“The majority of those we regulate understand and comply with environmental requirements but it’s important that our officers have the right tools to change the behaviour of those who ignore our advice and their responsibilities.

“The new environmental enforcement framework will deter and punish actions which damage the environment, adversely impact communities and undermine legitimate businesses.”

The new framework has been developed jointly with Scottish Government and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and follows several rounds of engagement with stakeholders during previous consultations in 2012 and 2014.

The consultation is open to the public until 22 October, 2015. The new powers will not take effect until an enforcement order has been made by Scottish Ministers and is expected to be laid before Parliament later this year.

For full details on the consultation, visit SEPA’s Consultation page or contact


Notes to editors

All information related to the consultation is available on the SEPA Consultations portal here.

Links to feedback from previous enforcement consultations are listed below:

For information on the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 -