Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018 - proposed amendments: consultation analysis

Summarises the responses that we received on our consultation on potential amendments to the Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018 as part of the better environmental regulation programme.

7. Waste – Technical Provisions

We proposed the scope of the waste activities requiring an authorisation under the draft Regulations (question 25), and that the draft Regulations maintain an equivalent provision to the existing provision in section 33(1) of EPA 1990 which references ‘in or on land’, limiting the requirement for an authorisation for waste activities to activities which occur “in or on land, or in the vicinity of land when connected with a waste management activity taking place on land” (question 26).

We sought comments to the proposed requirements relating to various waste activities in Schedules 11-17 (questions 27-33). In question 34 we proposed four GBRs for in relation to specific waste management activities:

GBR–1 - temporary storage of waste at the place of production

GBR–2 - temporary storage of waste at a place controlled by the producer

GBR–3 - temporary storage and treatment of waste at a collection point

GBR–4 - the deposit of non-hazardous dredging sludges or sediment on or alongside the bank or towpath of inland waters from which they have been dredged.

And finally in question 35 we proposed some minor amendments in relation to the waste activities arrangements.

7.1.1 Summary of responses

22 respondees provided 123 comments on questions 25-35 of the consultation paper relating to the waste management element of the draft Regulations.

The vast majority of the responses were supportive of the proposals but sought clarification on several aspects. Several respondees simply indicated that the waste section of the draft Regulations had no impact on them therefore they had no comment to make.

Comments were received (particularly from industry) seeking clarification on the General Binding Rules (GBRs) and the technical/operational aspects of the ‘waste’ legislation in general. Various comments were also received mentioning the topics of sewage sludge and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

7.1.2 Scottish Government response on the proposal for waste activities

With regard to the comments received seeking clarification on elements of the legislation and GBRs, the Scottish Government is aware that in order for the new regulatory framework to work effectively all waste producers and those who manage waste must have a clear understanding of what is expected of them in order to meet their statutory obligations. SEPA is currently developing guidance which will complement the 2018 Regulations and provide practical advice in this respect.

Sewage sludge is covered separately within this analysis report.

With regard to POPs, SEPA published guidance on 31 October 2023 to help Local Authorities and industry comply with existing obligations in relation to POPs under EU Regulation 2019/1021 and the Persistent Organic Pollutants Regulations 2007. In addition, the Scottish Government continues to work with the UK Government and other Devolved Administrations in developing measures to tackle POPs.

The suggestions received (particularly from industry) focusing on the technical and operational aspects of the ‘waste’ element of the legislation have been considered and the following suggested amendments have been accepted.

Schedule 11 – Scope Exclusions – Question 27. One respondent would prefer to see all scope exclusions included in Regulation 3. Currently, exclusions related to transport on the same premises and extractive waste areas/facilities are in Schedule 11 and only the householder exclusion is listed in Regulation 3.

It is agreed that having all scope exclusions in the same place for ease of use makes sense and we are content to make this change.

Waste GBR 2 – Question 34. One respondent proposed that it would be beneficial to define ‘secure place’ in the Regulations.

We agree this would be useful. We propose to use the same definition as used in England and Wales which is the one SEPA use in their Permits in that a place is secure in relation to waste if—

(a) all reasonable precautions are taken to ensure that the waste cannot escape from it, and

(b) members of the public are unable to gain access to the waste.


Email: chemicals@gov.scot

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