Publication - Consultation paper

Delivering Scotland's river basin management plans: consultation

Published: 8 Dec 2016
Economic Development Directorate
Part of:
Environment and climate change

A consultation inviting responses to proposed changes to The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011.

51 page PDF

477.6 kB

51 page PDF

477.6 kB

Delivering Scotland's river basin management plans: consultation
9. Amendments to Improve Clarity

51 page PDF

477.6 kB

9. Amendments to Improve Clarity

As a matter of good practice we carry out regular reviews of the effectiveness and transparency of CAR, and make routine amendments in the light of experience and new developments.

On this occasion we propose to make amendments in a number of specific areas, discussed below.

9.1 Revised Environmental Impact Assessment Directive

EIA Directive 85/337/EEC required Member States to ensure that certain development projects likely to have a significant effect on the environment were subject to an environmental impact assessment before permission could be granted to carry out the project. This included "irrigation projects".

The core aims of the EIA Directive sought to ensure that relevant environmental information is obtained, made publicly available, and taken into account in decision-making. These procedures broadly mirrored the existing CAR procedures for considering impacts on the water environment posed by any activity; and so in 2011 we made a number of amendments to CAR to reflect more visibly the EIA Directive's core requirements whilst ensuring any obligations on business were proportionate.

EIA Directive 2014/52/EU now makes amendments to the previous EIA Directive. Some of the new requirements are not generally applicable to all controlled activities, so it is not appropriate to embed these into CAR. Transposition of the revised EIA Directive is therefore being taken forward by alternative means, and we propose to remove references to the EIA Directive from CAR.

9.2 Part 2 of Schedule 4

Part 2 of Schedule 4 lists legislation introduced in connection with the protection of the water environment. The effect of Part 2 as read with regulation 15 is to require SEPA to take account of the potential impacts of any proposed controlled activity, and ensure the requirements of the listed legislation are given effect through the determination process, by the setting of appropriate standards and conditions.

The purpose of this Part was to ensure CAR would be used to achieve the requirements of other water-related European Directives, such as the protection and improvement of bathing waters or Natura sites; or the standards required by the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive.

However a very broad approach was taken in drafting such that Part 2 includes reference to certain Regulations which, although they are generally of relevance for the protection and improvement of the water environment, are not in fact relevant to SEPA's considerations in granting an authorisation under CAR. We therefore plan to remove certain Regulations from the current list with the aim of ensuring Part 2 lists only that legislation which SEPA genuinely needs to take into account before granting an authorisation under CAR.

The following Regulations have no bearing on the granting of a CAR licence, and we therefore propose to remove these from the list at Part 2:

  • The Designation of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (Scotland) Regulations 2002
  • The Designation of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (Scotland) (no 2) Regulations 2002
  • The Control of Pollution (Silage Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil)(Scotland) Regulations 2003
  • The Action Programme for Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (Scotland) Regulations 2008
  • The Management of Extractive Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2010

The following will be retained:

  • Part 2 of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004
  • The Conservation (Natural Habitats &c) Regulations 1994
  • The Urban Waste Water Treatment (Scotland) Regulations 1994
  • The Bathing Waters (Scotland) Regulations 2008

This will provide greater clarity regarding the purpose of Part 2 of Schedule 4.

9.3 Miscellaneous amendments

We propose to set out that licence conditions under regulation 8(2) may include conditions for the purpose of protecting or enhancing the water environment, or protecting the interests of other users of the water environment; and may include monitoring requirements. These are already a matter of practice, and this change is merely to ensure greater transparency. In the interests of consistency we also propose to make some corresponding clarifications at regulation 15(6) and Schedule 8(1)(g).

9.4 Preventing pollution of marine waters

The Water Environment (River Basin Management Planning: Further Provision) (Scotland) Regulations 2013 set out in some detail how certain aspects of river basin planning should be carried out, in line with the provisions of the Water Framework Directive ( WFD). The Directive requires that any measures taken to reduce pollution in freshwater should not increase pollution of marine waters. Although we believe that we have taken all practical steps to ensure our measures to reduce freshwater pollution would not increase marine pollution, we propose to introduce a provision to that effect in the interests of transparency.