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National litter and flytipping consultation: strategic environmental assessment

Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for the proposed actions for the National Litter and Flytipping Strategy.


Appendix A – Addressing Responses from Consultative Authorities

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

Ref: SEPA 1

Consultation Response: SEPA recommends that the inclusion of reference to flytipping as well as litter under the scoping justifications for each environmental topic would help to demonstrate that potential effects for both aspects have been fully considered when determining the scope of the assessment.

Commentary / action taken: The section on SEA topics scoping and justification has been updated to ensure references to both litter and flytipping are included in the commentary for each of the environmental topics.

Relevant location in Environmental Report: Section 3.2 Scope of the assessment, Table 3-1

Ref: SEPA 2

Consultation Response: SEPA considers that while it is content for the topic of soil to be scoped out it recommends that there is further clarification as to the reasoning for this, i.e. to include reference to terrestrial as well as marine effects.

Commentary / action taken: In the Scoping Report the following justification was provided as the basis for scoping out soil as a topic for assessment:

“The presence of litter and flytipping is not considered to result in significant morphological and/or physiological changes to seabed strata and/or bottom sediments.”

The decision to scope out soil as a topic for assessment is considered to be appropriate for this SEA, however, it is recognised that the above justification needs to include reference to the potential for effects of the proposals on the terrestrial (land-based) soil environment. The justification in the Environmental Report has been updated to provide further clarification of the reasons for scoping out Soil as a topic, with the following text added to Table 3-1 SEA topics scoping and justification:

The presence of litter and flytipping may have adverse impacts on the physical and chemical structure of land-based soil systems, however, it is considered that the effects on soil are closely associated to the related effects on plants and animals, including soil ecosystems, and the net effects are captured in other environmental topics, particularly biodiversity, and to some extent water, landscape and human health. Reference to the effects on soil are highlighted in the scoped-in topic sections where relevant.

The presence of litter and flytipping is not considered to result in significant morphological and/or physiological changes to seabed strata and/or bottom sediments.”

This approach is considered to avoid repetition of the linked effects for soil and other environmental topics, whilst also accounting for potentially significant effects of the strategy proposals on the soil environment.

Relevant location in Environmental Report: Section 3.2 Scope of the assessment, Table 3-1

Ref: SEPA 3

Consultation Response: SEPA considers that discussion on flytipping is light in comparison with that on litter and suggests that it would be helpful for the Environmental Report to set the reasoning for this out in more detail. This would help to demonstrate that both litter and flytipping have been addressed to the full extent that the evidence allows. SEPA suggests that the baseline context would benefit from a more detailed analysis of flytipping figures and it would be helpful to include some explanation regarding the limitations on current data for flytipping quantities.

Commentary / action taken: It is acknowledged that reference to flytipping may be limited in the Scoping Report. The Environmental Report includes further consideration of the information available on flytipping in the assessment of effects for each environmental topic, beyond that included in the Scoping Report. Where possible, this highlights sources of information and data relevant to flytipping, including issues with the availability and consistency of available data.

Relevant location in Environmental Report:

3.8 Summary and Overview of Difficulties Encountered

4.2 to 9.2: Baseline Characteristics for the Environmental Topics

4.3 to 9.3: Consideration of likely significant effects for the Environmental Topics

Ref: SEPA 4

Consultation Response: SEPA considers that discussion in the SEA Scoping Report with regards to Human Health appears to combine / confuse two separate issues i.e. the issue of “sharp material” is quite different to the issue of exposure to asbestos. SEPA suggests that it would be helpful to deal with these issues separately in the SEA.

Commentary / action taken: The Environmental Report reflects the information available to carry out an assessment of the effects on human health, which has covered a variety of different aspects associated with risks to health from physical hazards and mental health/wellbeing.

Relevant location in Environmental Report: 5. Human Health

Ref: SEPA 5

Consultation Response: SEPA highlights that the timescales for consultation on the National Litter and Flytipping Strategy differs from that for the SEA Environmental Report. SEPA has requested clarification on the reasons for this approach.

Commentary / action taken: The point regarding different time periods for consultation is acknowledged. It is now confirmed that the consultation on the National Litter and Flytipping Strategy and the SEA Environmental Report will be held at the same time and will be of equal duration (a minimum of 12 weeks).

Relevant location in Environmental Report: 11.3 Next Steps

NatureScot

Ref: NatureScot 1

Consultation Response: NatureScot comments that it is happy with the SEA Criteria for the assessment methodology set out in the SEA Scoping Report but suggests that the wording is amended for clarity and consistency. In particular, NatureScot highlights that there is reference to “Answering the assessment questions…”, so suggests either rewording the SEA criteria to be presented as a set of questions, or alternatively, an additional column could be added with the questions to be answered for each of the SEA criteria.

Commentary / action taken: The points relating to clarity and consistency are acknowledged. The relevant section in the Environmental Report has been updated to provide a more consistent approach to the use of wording, which removes reference to ‘SEA Questions’ but retains ‘SEA Criteria’.

Consideration was given to developing a series of questions related to the SEA Criteria presented in the Scoping Report but it was felt that this would not necessarily add to the assessment of effects for each environmental topic. The intention behind the stated criteria was judged to be sufficiently clear and comprehensive in terms of the aims for each environmental topic, which provides the basis for assessing the effects of the strategy proposals.

Relevant location in Environmental Report:

3.4 Significant Environmental Effects

4.3 to 9.3: Consideration of likely significant effects for the Environmental Topics

Ref: NatureScot 2

Consultation Response: NatureScot requests further clarification on what is meant by the statement ‘The assessment has adopted a primary tier to explore the potential for significant primary environmental effects...’

Commentary / action taken: We can confirm that the Environmental Report has considered the objectives and aims (primary tier) included in the proposals for each of the four strategy themes, along with an assessment of the proposed actions (secondary tier) associated with these strategy themes.

References to ‘primary tier’ and ‘primary environmental effects’ have been removed, with the use of the terms: Aims, Objectives and Actions reflecting the approach used in the Environmental Report.

Relevant location in Environmental Report:

3.4 Significant Environmental Effects

4.3 to 9.3: Consideration of likely significant effects for the Environmental Topics

10.1 Compatibility assessment of aims and objectives for the NLFS

Ref: NatureScot 3

Consultation Response: NatureScot considers that litter and flytipping could have impacts on soil and recommends that soil is scoped into the assessment, or further clarification is given as to why effects are unlikely to be significant on this receptor in terrestrial environments as well as aquatic.

Commentary / action taken: In the Scoping Report the following justification was provided as the basis for scoping out soil as a topic for assessment:

“The presence of litter and flytipping is not considered to result in significant morphological and/or physiological changes to seabed strata and/or bottom sediments.”

The decision to scope out soil as a topic for assessment is considered to be appropriate for this SEA, however, it is recognised that the above justification needs to include reference to the potential for effects of the proposals on the terrestrial (land-based) soil environment. The justification in the Environmental Report has been updated to provide further clarification of the reasons for scoping out Soil as a topic, with the following text added to Table 3-1 SEA topics scoping and justification:

The presence of litter and flytipping may have adverse impacts on the physical and chemical structure of land-based soil systems, however, it is considered that the effects on soil are closely associated to the related effects on plants and animals, including soil ecosystems, and the net effects are captured in other environmental topics, particularly biodiversity, and to some extent water, landscape and human health. Reference to the effects on soil are highlighted in the scoped-in topic sections where relevant.

The presence of litter and flytipping is not considered to result in significant morphological and/or physiological changes to seabed strata and/or bottom sediments..”

This approach is considered to avoid repetition of the linked effects for soil and other environmental topics, whilst also accounting for potentially significant effects of the strategy proposals on the soil environment.

Relevant location in Environmental Report: Section 3.2 Scope of the assessment, Table 3-1

Ref: NatureScot 4

Consultation Response: NatureScot acknowledges that while there is less evidence on the effects of litter and flytipping on terrestrial biodiversity than compared to marine biodiversity, it would be useful for the SEA to explore terrestrial impacts on biodiversity, even if this is based on anecdotal evidence.

Commentary / action taken: It is confirmed that the Environmental Report has considered information available to carry out an assessment of the effects on both marine and terrestrial biodiversity.

Relevant location in Environmental Report: 3. Biodiversity, flora and fauna

Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

Ref: HES1

Consultation Response: HES is content with the proposed 8 week consultation period for the SEA Environmental Report but recommends that the consultation period for the draft National Litter and Flytipping Strategy document and its assessment should be the same length of time (currently indicated to be 12 weeks).

Commentary / action taken: The point regarding different time periods for consultation is acknowledged. It is now confirmed that the consultation on the National Litter and Flytipping Strategy and the SEA Environmental Report will be held at the same time and will be of equal duration (a minimum of 12 weeks).

Relevant location in Environmental Report: 11.3 Next Steps

Contact

Email: NLFS@gov.scot

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