Pollution to land, air and water can have serious health and environmental implications unless strictly controlled.

We put regulations and strategies in place for controlling environmental pollution and emissions, and support the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and local authorities to implement these.


We are controlling pollution in Scotland by:


Report a pollution incident

Pollution accidents or incidents that require an urgent response should be directed to SEPA's 24/7 pollution hotline: 0800 80 70 60

Role of SEPA

SEPA is the main authority for pollution issues in Scotland. Its main responsibilities in relation to pollution are:

  • regulating emissions from industrial installations
  • controlling pollution from waste management activities
  • regulating installations using radioactive materials
  • regulating discharges to rivers, lochs, estuaries and coastal waters
  • advising us on the development of new policies for protecting Scotland's environment

Find more information on SEPA's website.

Role of local authorities

Local authorities main roles in relation to pollution are:

  • ensuring local air quality meets national standards, and taking action where it does not
  • inspecting their areas to identify areas of contaminated land, and ensuring that problem sites are cleaned up
  • collecting and disposing of household waste
  • dealing with complaints related to statutory nuisance issues
  • taking action to control litter, clean up graffiti and address dog fouling
  • controlling development through the land use planning system
  • regulating for the identification and remediation of contaminated land

Bills and legislation


General enquiries: ceu@gov.scot

Phone: 0131 244 7813

Scottish Government
Environmental Quality and Circular Economy Division
3H South Victoria Quay

Air quality enquiries: air.quality@gov.scot

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