Compliance assessment results published for 2013

  11 November 2014
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has today (11 November) published its Compliance Assessment Scheme figures for 2013, which show that 90% of the operators assessed achieved a rating of excellent, good or broadly compliant.

The Compliance Assessment Scheme (CAS) outlines how well permitted operators in Scotland have met the conditions of their licences on an annual basis and helps SEPA to identify problem areas which require greater focus for improvement. The scheme covers operators with Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Part A and Part B permits, Waste Management Licences (WML), Controlled Activity Regulations (CAR) discharges and sites licenced under the Radioactive Substances Act (RSA).

Of the 3991 licenced activities assessed as part of the 2013 scheme, 2951 (74%) were rated Excellent, 592 (15%) as Good and 66 (2%) as Broadly Compliant. The remaining were classed At Risk (116 or 3%), Poor (218 or 5%) and Very Poor (48 or 1%).

For the first time, an additional 1187 Water Resource sites, regulated under CAR, have been included within the assessment for 2013 and include activities varying from large scale public water supply or industrial abstractions to smaller scale irrigation schemes. Compliance for these sites achieved a rating of 73% and when added to the original CAS data, would bring overall compliance to 86%. From next year, Water Resource sites will be included in the overall compliance target under SEPA’s Annual Operating Plan.

Calum MacDonald, SEPA’s Executive Director, said:

The level of compliance that we have seen in this year’s results is encouraging and shows that our approach to enforcement and promoting the benefits of compliance is having a tangible impact across all sectors of Scottish industry.

“The scheme also acts as an important indicator of where improvements are needed most and appropriate enforcement action will be taken against operators who have consistently failed to meet the required standards to ensure that the integrity of our environment is safeguarded.”

The scheme conducts inspections on a risk based approach, targeting high risk operations and under-performing sites more frequently than compliant or low risk operators.

A full list of the licences assessed, including details and ratings for the majority of sites are available on the SEPA website. A grading is provided for sites classified as water resources or radioactive substance licences, however further details of their locations and ownership are not disclosed for reasons of national security.  


Notes to editors

  • CAS results can be found on our website.
  • SEPA uses a risk assessment system to determine the frequency of inspections. It is designed to plan and target inspections at licenced sites based on the nature of activities (how hazardous they are), the level of risk to the environment, and operator performance and compliance.
  • The Compliance Assessment Scheme (CAS) allows SEPA to concentrate its efforts on sites of higher risk and also non-compliant / failing sites. The focus of this approach has moved SEPA from purely identifying non-compliance to also identifying the root-cause of non-compliance to prevent future occurrence.

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