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

This consultation sets out proposals for incorporating SEPA’s four main regulatory regimes into an integrated environmental authorisation framework as part of Scottish Government and SEPA’s joint Better Environmental Regulation Programme.

1. Introduction and Purpose

1.1.1 The Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018 (the 2018 Regulations) came into force in September 2018. These regulations set out the common procedures for an authorisation framework with the aim of integrating, as far as possible, the authorisation, procedural and enforcement arrangements relating to radioactive substances, water, waste management and industrial activities. The 2018 Regulations include the technical provisions for radioactive substances activities thus bringing that regime into this integrated authorisation framework.

1.1.2 The framework is a key component of the joint Scottish Government-SEPA programme of policy, legislative and operational improvements which will deliver a simpler, more risk-based, proportionate system of environmental regulation. It also enables SEPA to deliver proportionate, joined up, outcome focussed regulation, whilst reducing the regulatory burden for operators.

1.1.3 In January 2017 the Scottish Government ran a substantial consultation on the detailed proposals for the framework (Scottish Government consultation on proposals for an integrated authorisation framework - 12 January 2017) with a further consultation on the draft Regulations themselves in October 2017 (a copy is included with the supporting documents linked to this consultation). A summary of the January 2017 consultation responses can be found at: Scottish Government better environmental regulation programme - integrated authorisation framework: consultation responses - 18 August 2017. A summary of the October 2017 consultation responses can be found at: Scottish Government draft regulations for an integrated authorisation framework: consultation analysis - 22 February 2018.

1.1.4 As part of the development of this consultation package stakeholder feedback was revisited. This consultation does not seek views on the content of the 2018 Regulations.

1.1.5 This Scottish Government-SEPA joint consultation invites stakeholders to comment on the draft Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2024 (the draft Regulations) relating to water, waste, and industrial activities. This consultation will run for 12 weeks.

1.1.6 The purpose of this consultation is to seek views and to invite comments on the draft Regulations, and in particular:

  • the technical provisions relating to water, waste, and industrial activities
  • the four proposed new activities and changes to the process in relation to the public consultation and call-in procedure
  • various amendments to the common procedures in the 2018 Regulations and technical provisions for radioactive substances activities

1.1.7 This consultation also seeks your views to explore how ammonia emission from livestock farms, particularly dairy and intensive livestock might be better managed and reduced.

1.1.8 Annexes A and B include the draft Regulations and a partial Business Regulatory Impact Assessment, respectively.

1.1.9 Over a similar period SEPA will be consulting on proposals for the type of authorisation that will be required for waste, water and industrial activities once they are brought into the 2018 Regulations by means of the draft Regulations, which will support implementation of the framework. This consultation will be on SEPA’s website and is anticipated to be available in early 2024:

  • Types of authorisations required for waste, water, and industrial activities under the Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018.

1.1.10 SEPA published other guidance to support the framework in 2018. You may wish to refer to this guidance although SEPA are not consulting on it at this time. These guidance documents are:

  • involving you… in environmental authorisations (SEPA’s public participation statement)
  • guidance on who can hold an authorisation
  • an authorisation guide for radioactive substances activities.

1.1.11 These documents include, but are not limited to, the guidance SEPA needs to produce and consult on under the Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018. These are on SEPA’s website at: SEPA - How we regulate - Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018 You may find it helpful to read these various documents together.

1.1.12 In addition to this formal consultation, we will also provide opportunities to speak to us and SEPA face to face about the proposed changes, including stakeholder events over the consultation period so we can listen to, and understand your views, and answer any questions. These events also intend to help you understand the proposed changes and put together your response.


Email: chemicals@gov.scot

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