The key concern raised by respondents was the perceived cost to bring the currently exempt silage and slurry structures to compliance with the SSAFO standards. We can also deduce from responses that some post-1991 structures may not be fully compliant with existing legislation.
NFU Scotland recognised the need for farmers to improve their current practices but highlighted that applying a British Standard requirement to the upgrading of old slurry stores would bring unacceptably high costs.
Scottish Government accepts these concerns and now proposes that these older stores meet a basic set of standards which will ensure their integrity in being fit for purpose and thereby protecting the environment. This will be in lieu of meeting the full set of standards which have been in place since 1991 for all structures built post 1991.
In order to give businesses time to adapt transition periods will apply, with up to 4 years, to achieve compliance, allowed for those with older infrastructure.
Although a large number of the proposals consulted on were already in legislation we consider that Scottish Government has fulfilled the principles of consultation and has taken into consideration responses.
The measures taken forward are consistent with Scottish Government's holistic approach to protection of the water environment and in addition will provide benefits to air quality and climate change targets.
Scottish Government Environmental Quality Unit