The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
was established on 1st April 1996 under the provisions
of the Environment Act 1995. SEPA has duties which
include the following:
- To control discharges to surface waters and
groundwaters by the issue of legally binding consents;
- To conserve water resources as far as possible;
- To promote conservation and enhancement of the
natural beauty and amenity of controlled waters
and associated flora and fauna.
- To control atmospheric emissions from certain
types of process, which are prescribed in Regulations,
and which are expected to have a medium pollution
risk by means of a legally binding 'authorisation';
Integrated Pollution Control
- To control discharges (to land, air and water)
from larger and more complex 'prescribed'
processes through Integrated Pollution Control
Responsibilities for the management of waste in
Scotland are shared by SEPA and local authorities.
SEPA has specific duties to produce a national waste
strategy and for the licensing of waste disposal
To register the keeping and use of radioactive
substances and to authorise disposal of radioactive
waste from all users, including nuclear establishments
in Scotland. SEPA undertakes environmental monitoring
for radioactivity in Scotland.
duties for water quality in the marine environment
are to control discharges to surface waters (which
include tidal waters out to the three-mile limit)
by issuing discharge consents,
to control prescribed processes through IPC authorisations
and to authorise disposal of radioactive wastes.
Scottish Executive Rural Affairs
The main responsibilities of the Department in
relation to water quality in the marine environment
- Policy responsibility for the quality of the
environment in Scotland;
- Licensing of the deposit of wastes and other
substances at sea under Part II of the Food and
Environment Protection Act (FEPA) 1985;
- Statutory consultee in the consent setting process
for discharges from pipelines to sea.
SERAD has policy responsibility for the quality
of the marine environment and is the sponsoring
department for SEPA. SEPA is responsible for decisions
relating directly to water quality in the marine
SERAD is the competent authority for the issue
of licences under Part II FEPA 1985. The decision-making
process is similar to that operated by MAFF.
SERAD is a statutory consultee for consent applications
for discharges to tidal waters and is responsible
for ensuring that fisheries interests and other
genuine uses of the sea are not compromised.