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Scotland's Zero Waste Plan: Consultation


Annex - R - Offshore waste management plan


1. Paragraph 5 of Schedule 4 to the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 1 requires the production of a plan in relation to offshore waste. This Annex, when finalised, will fulfil that obligation. The National Waste Management Plan for Scotland does not extend to radioactive waste (Article 2(1)(d) of the Waste Framework Directive lays down that the Directive does not extend to radioactive waste).

2. The origins of the requirement to produce an Offshore Waste Management Plan relate to controls on the deposit of materials at sea. This Annex briefly considers the controls in this area, in paragraphs 7 to 9 below.

3. This Annex also considers controls and guidance relating to waste arising offshore and then landed in Scotland.

4. Comments are invited on this Annex, and should be submitted with comments on the draft Zero Waste Plan.

Overall approach by the Scottish Government

5. The overall approach taken by the Government in relation to offshore waste is to:

  • Comply with EU and international obligations.
  • Protect the environment and human health.
  • Follow the waste hierarchy outlined in Article 4 of the revised Waste Framework Directive.

Data on offshore waste

6. Table 12 of Annex B provides data on offshore waste landed in Scotland.

Deposit of substances or articles at sea

7. Part II of the Food and Environment Protection Act ( FEPA) 1985 requires that licences must be obtained for the deposit of substances or articles, either in the sea or under the seabed within UK controlled waters. The licensing authority for deposits in the Scottish Zone of UK controlled waters falling under devolved powers is the Aquaculture, Freshwater Fisheries and Licensing Policy Division of Marine Scotland based at the Marine Laboratory Aberdeen with policy responsibility held by the Marine Planning and Policy Division of Marine Scotland based at Victoria Quay, Edinburgh. 2

8. Devolved powers under Part II of FEPA in relation to the deposit of substances or objects at sea would be replaced by the Marine (Scotland) Bill 3, if this should be enacted by the Scottish Parliament:

9. Some aspects of Part II of FEPA are reserved for the UK Government including matters falling under Merchant Shipping legislation and offshore oil and gas exploitation falling under Petroleum legislation. The decommissioning of offshore installations is covered in paragraph 11 below.

Recovery of litter at sea

10 The Scottish Government supports KIMO's Fishing for Litter projects 4, which aim to reduce debris in the seas.

Decommissioning of offshore installations

11 The UK Government has issued guidance on the decommissioning of offshore oil and gas installations 5 and on the decommissioning of offshore renewable energy plants. 6

Safety of navigation

12. Section 34 of the Coast Protection Act 1949 provides that, where obstruction or danger to navigation is caused or is likely to result, the prior written consent of the Scottish Ministers is required for the construction, alteration or improvement of any works, the deposit of any object or materials or the removal of any object or materials below the level of Mean High Water Springs. The purpose of control under Section 34 is solely concerned with the safetyof navigation.7Provisions in this area will also be replaced by the Marine (Scotland) Bill, mentioned at paragraph 8 above, if enacted.

Ship dismantling

13. The UK Government has established a UK Ship Recycling Strategy. 8The Scottish Government generally supports the aims of the Strategy.

Animal By-Products

14. Catering waste from means of transport operating internationally is Category one material so far as the Animal By-Products Regulations are concerned. Category 1 Animal By-Products must be disposed of by incineration or rendering although international catering waste may, in addition, be disposed of to an authorised landfill.

15. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency have carried out a National Best Practice Project on fish waste 9.

Scottish Government
August 2009