SEPA supporting land managers to do the right thing and avoid penalties for environmental impacts

date15 March 2019

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is calling on land managers and contractors to ensure they have an authorisation before undertaking river engineering works after a housing developer was served with a £600 penalty.

  • SEPA is supporting Scottish land managers to do the right thing and avoid penalties.
  • The call for land managers to talk to SEPA comes after the agency served a £600 penalty on Townfield Construction Limited after engineering work took place in the Avon Water without the necessary authorisation in place.
  • SEPA is here to help and in addition to the ‘NetRegs’ online resource, local officers are on hand to support land managers.

On 10 January 2019 SEPA served a fixed monetary penalty to Townfield Construction Limited after the Hamilton-based company undertook bank protection works without an authorisation from SEPA.

SEPA, led by Investigating Officer Mark Greenhalgh, carried out an investigation into the engineering work in the Avon Water.

Ian Buchanan, SEPA’s Chief Officer, Compliance and Beyond, said:

“Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment. We are committed to supporting land managers and contractors to do the right thing and avoid penalties for environmental impacts.

“It is completely unacceptable to carry out river engineering works without an authorisation as this can put the water environment at risk. We also want responsible operators to feel confident that others are paying for a registration or licence and are complying with the conditions.

“In addition to the ‘NetRegs’ online resource, land managers can contact officers at our local Eurocentral office on 01698 839 000 before undertaking projects.”

Engineering works can damage habitat in rivers, lochs and wetlands, in turn affecting populations of invertebrates, plants, birds and mammals. Engineering works can also block the passage of migrating fish and damage spawning habitats during sensitive times. Some affected fish, such as salmon, are an important economic resource in many areas of Scotland. Engineering can also result in erosion of valuable adjacent land resources.

There is a wealth of advice and information available on SEPA’s website, including a range of good practice guides and at NetRegs. Details of Fixed Monetary Penalties are also published on SEPA’s website in line with the legislative requirement.

ENDS