Response to The Herald regarding Unconventional Gas

  14 December 2015

Following the publication of an article in The Herald on Saturday, 12 December, entitled “Watchdog accused of a lack of impartiality over fracking”, we thought it might be helpful to publish the full response which was provided to the journalist, as a limited amount was included in the content.

Energy is a reserved matter, therefore The Department of Energy and Climate Change is responsible for issuing Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDL).  This licence will allow a specific operator the rights to the resources, but the operator would still need to gain the relevant planning and environmental permissions which are devolved to the Scottish Government. 

A spokesperson from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), said:

As Scotland’s environmental regulator, it is important for SEPA to proactively engage with the UK Government and other national bodies in the UK on the regulatory differences which exist between Scotland, as a devolved Administration, and the rest of the UK.

“SEPA remains completely neutral with regards to unconventional gas and has categorically never promoted unconventional gas or fracking. Any presentations from staff have always focused on explaining our current regulatory role and the controls in place to ensure that the environment is adequately safeguarded.”

“While the moratorium remains in place, SEPA continues to work directly with the Scottish Government on our regulatory framework in relation to unconventional gas.”

Further information about SEPA’s regulatory role in relation to unconventional gas can be found on our website.