Support for changes to SEPA’s new environmental protection regime

Posted: Friday 22nd July 2011

Scotland’s environment watchdog, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), has moved one step closer to making some big changes to Scotland’s environmental protection regime following a resoundingly positive response to its recent consultation. The overall findings of the public consultation were published recently.

In December 2010, SEPA launched the consultation setting out its proposals for a new, simpler and more effective way forward for environmental regulation in Scotland. The consultation closed in February 2011 and generated significant interest from a wide range of stakeholders, with 105 responses received from over 30 sectors. Around a fifth of responses were from trade and representative bodies providing comment on behalf of their members.

The findings are summarised in the ‘Response to the Better Environmental Regulation: SEPA’s Change Proposals Consultation’ document

Comments were generally very positive and supportive and this has led respondents to ask for more detail of the proposals and to be involved in taking them forward. There was a high level of support for the main principles in the consultation, particularly in relation to:

SEPA will now work with respondents and others on the details of the proposed changes, how these will work in practice, and the funding model that will support them.

Campbell Gemmell, SEPA’s Chief Executive said:

“We want to make sure that every pound invested in us by tax payers and our charge payers is used well and to greatest effect. This new approach focuses our resources on the highest environmental risks and the poorest performing operators, to continue to protect and improve the environment while reducing the cost to the public purse.

“We will continue to be an effective force for the environment, and for Scotland’s economy and communities but we want, and need, to change in order to do so. This consultation set out our principles for that change and I would encourage anyone with an interest in the way Scotland’s environment is protected to let us know their views. In the meantime, we will continue to discuss and progress our proposed changes with our key customers.“

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