This consultation sets out proposals for an integrated environmental authorisation framework as part of the Better Environmental Regulation Programme. Stakeholder views are important to us and we would welcome your comments on these important proposals.
Consistent, proportionate and simplified regulation is an essential component of Scotland's environmental protection framework. It is vital to the promotion of responsible business growth.
The Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 provides a significant opportunity to simplify, streamline and standardise the system of environmental authorisations in Scotland.
The integrated authorisation framework will support delivery of SEPA's statutory purpose, which is to ensure that environmental protection is carried out in a way that, as far as possible, supports health and wellbeing and sustainable economic growth. It is also key to the successful implementation of SEPA's regulatory strategy "One Planet Prosperity - Our Regulatory Strategy". This sets out how, as a 21st century regulator, SEPA is engaging to deliver compliance and maximise its contribution to our communities, a dynamic and sustainable economy and Scotland's ambitious climate change agenda.
The sustainable use of our environment is intrinsically linked to our economic potential as a nation. Consistent and proportionate regulation plays a vital role in making Scotland the most attractive place for doing business in Europe. Similarly, a clean and flourishing environment is essential in ensuring that people in Scotland lead longer, healthier lives and can access the amenities and services they need.
Both the Scottish Government and SEPA wish to make clear that compliance with environmental regulations is the minimum standard expected and is non-negotiable. We want, however, to help encourage and incentivise as many businesses as possible to go beyond compliance by helping them to further reduce their environmental impact in a way that builds business benefits. Doing so will not only help businesses to innovate and grow sustainably; it will enable our communities and environment to thrive and our country to prosper.
The integrated authorisation framework will play a key role in delivering a 21 st Century approach to regulation for Scotland and we invite you to help us deliver it.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment,
Climate Change and Land Reform
Environment Protection Agency