11 January 2019
SEPA is clear that compliance is non-negotiable. HES remains responsible for meeting environmental obligations under their permits, including the removal and treatment of waste from their sites.
Having served enforcement notices in September and December 2018, inspections by SEPA demonstrate that Healthcare Environmental Services continues not to fully comply with the requirements set out in the enforcement notice for their Hassockrigg site. Specifically this relates to the failure to manage clinical waste within timescales required by the site operating permit.
SEPA is undertaking regular inspections in the area and is working with other authorities to ensure that the environment and local communities are fully protected. Our inspections have not identified any current risk of pollution from the waste stored on the site.
Breaching environmental legislation is a criminal offence and SEPA recently launched an investigation into whether criminal offences have been committed.
Further enforcement action could also include a referral to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.
SEPA has been working with the Scottish Government, NHS Scotland and health boards for some time on extensive contingency planning. We remain confident that the contingency arrangements in place will ensure that clinical waste across Scotland continues to be stored, collected and disposed of appropriately.