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Nine out of ten Scottish operators comply with Sepa standards

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) says that 90% of the operators it assessed during 2013 achieved a rating of excellent, good or were broadly compliant.

The figures come from Sepa’s Compliance Assessment Scheme which indicates how well permitted operators meet the conditions of their licences.

Of the 3,991 licensed activities assessed as part of the 2013 scheme, 2,951 (74%) were rated excellent, 592 (15%) good and 66 (2%) broadly compliant.

The remaining were classed at risk (116 or 3%), poor (218 or 5%) and very poor (48 or 1%).

Calum MacDonald, Sepa’s executive director, said the rates were encouraging and showed that the approach to enforcement and promoting the benefits of compliance was having “a tangible impact” across Scottish industry.

“The scheme also acts as an important indicator of where improvements are needed most and appropriate enforcement action will be taken against operators who have consistently failed to meet the required standards to ensure that the integrity of our environment is safeguarded,” MacDonald added.

Sepa conducts inspections on a risk based approach, targeting high risk operations and under-performing sites more frequently than compliant or low risk operators.

The scheme covers operators with Pollution Prevention and Control Part A and Part B permits, Waste Management Licences, Controlled Activity Regulations, and discharges and sites licensed under the Radioactive Substances Act. 

In 2012, overall compliance was at 89% and in 2011 at 87% - although there have been slight methodology changes.

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