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Single Authorisation Framework

The Single Authorisation Framework

One of the main ways in which the environment and human health are protected in Scotland is by a system of environmental authorisations (such as permits, registrations, exemptions and general binding rules).             SEPA officer

These authorisations are an integral tool in SEPA’s approach to controlling and minimising the impact of certain activities on the environment.  The procedures and requirements associated with them, however, are currently inconsistent across different regulatory regimes.  This is unnecessarily complicated, difficult to understand and onerous to administer, both for SEPA and business.  

The single authorisation framework will bring together all the permissioning arrangements for SEPA’s four main regulatory (water, waste, radioactive substances and Pollution Prevention and Control) into a single permissioning structure and under a single standardised procedure (subject to the requirements of European and national legislation).  

There will be multiple benefits from this approach:

  • It will enable SEPA as an organisation to work in a more joined-up and transparent way across different sites, operators and sectors, reducing administrative costs.

  • Businesses will benefit from clearer guidance, simpler processes and joined-up and corporate permits, which will help reduce complexity and cut administration saving time and money.It will be easier to understand requirements and comply.

  • Communities and the environment will be better protected as the new framework will focus on the regulation of environmental activities capable of causing, or liable to cause, environmental harm rather than routine activity.