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Industrial emissions

We set the Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) regulations and have appointed the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to enforce them as an independent regulator. We are committed to ensuring the highest level of environmental protection from the largest industrial activities.

The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012 came into force on January 2013, following a consultation on the transposition of the industrial emissions directive in Scotland. They replaced the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000, and are subject to periodic amendment to ensure they stay fit for purpose and up-to-date with the latest available techniques, technology and information.

Find more information on PPC on SEPA's website.

Industrial Emissions Directive (IED)

The European Union's Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) is transposed in to Scots law by the PPC regulations. The IED aims to achieve a high level of protection of human health and the environment by reducing harmful industrial emissions into the air, water and land and by avoiding the generation of waste from large industrial installations. The IED requires operators to be given a permit to carry out their activities; regulators then check compliance against these permits and can impose penalties where they find issues of non-compliance.

Industrial Reporting

Scottish Ministers have duties to report on industrial emissions from sites in Scotland, and we rely on data input from SEPA to help us fulfil those duties. We consider it important that the public have access to relevant information and that this information is accurate, timely and readily available. Links to information are provided below along with some detail about what reporting duties exist currently for Scottish Ministers.

Industrial Emissions Directive (IED)

Article 72 of the IED required the UK as a Member State to comply with various obligations to report data to the European Commission on inspections in relation to industrial emissions. On EU Exit, retained EU law was amended by the Air Quality (Miscellaneous Amendment and Revocation of Retained Direct EU Legislation) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 and there is now an obligation on the Scottish Ministers, as the appropriate authority in relation to Scotland, to prepare the information on an annual basis.

UK Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (UK PRTR)

The requirement to collect the data in relation to pollutant releases and transfers from large industrial facilities in Scotland for the PRTR Register, contained in retained EU law, was amended by the Air Quality (Miscellaneous Amendment and Revocation of Retained Direct EU Legislation (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 and by the Environment (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020. There is an obligation on the Scottish Ministers, as the appropriate authority in relation to Scotland, to provide annual information to the Secretary of State.

Industrial emissions data for the UK is published on the UK Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (UK PRTR) website at Search by facility - Defra, UK and Download the full XML dataset - Defra, UK. The UK PRTR data collection fulfils the requirements of the UNECE Kiev Protocol.

Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory (SPRI)

In addition, SEPA maintains a database of annual mass releases of specified pollutants to air, water and land from industrial sites in Scotland, known as the Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory (SPRI). Click here for SPRI data

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