Compliance assessment scheme reveals how Scottish operators are performing

Posted: Tuesday 25th October 2011

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s (SEPA) Compliance Assessment Scheme figures for 2010 are available online from today and show that more than 85% of operators across various regulatory regimes have achieved a licence compliance rating of excellent, good or broadly compliant.

The Compliance Assessment Scheme (CAS) details how well permitted operators in Scotland have met the conditions of their licences. It covers operators with Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Part A permits, and for the first time includes all operators with PPC Part B permits and covers Waste Management Licensing (WML) and Point sources for Controlled Activity Regulations (CAR).

Part A sites are regulated for emissions to air, water, land, and noise and energy use. Part B sites include smaller industrial processes such as quarries, cement batching units or small foundries. Part B sites are regulated for emissions to air only.

Following last year’s figures, SEPA officers made non-compliant sites a priority, leading to an increase in the number of PPC Part A sites achieving a rating of excellent, good or broadly compliant, up 3.5% from 83.4% in 2009 to 86.9% in 2010, well above the baseline set by SEPA.

Of the 4,075 operators included in this year’s scheme, 2951 (72%) were rated excellent, 476 (12%) as good and 51 (1%) as broadly compliant. The remaining were classed at risk (354 or 9%), poor (200 0r 5%) and very poor (43 or 1%). The information is available online at

The inclusion this year of all PPC Part B sites, Waste Management Licences and point sources for CAR provides a simple, consistent framework and approach across various regulatory regimes, which will lead to objective and transparent compliance assessment results. Next year, the 2011 figures will also include sites regulated under water resources use, radioactivity and small point source regulatory schemes.

Calum MacDonald, SEPA's Director of Operations, said:

"The Compliance Assessment Scheme results are important to us, as they identify where resource needs to be focussed to help companies achieve a satisfactory level of environmental protection. The fact that we have increased compliance amongst PPC Part A operators this year shows that this approach is working.

"This assessment tool is part of SEPA's better regulation agenda, which has identified that improvements to our approach in assessing compliance with licences, permits and authorisations will lead to more effective, transparent and efficient regulation.

"Although SEPA is committed to helping operators to meet their environmental responsibilities, we will not shy away from taking appropriate enforcement action in relation to sites which consistently fail to meet our standards."

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