The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has launched a consultation on proposed improvements to the Compliance Assessment Scheme (CAS), which rates environmental licences at more than 10,000 sites across Scotland.
The consultation proposes to focus on environmental harm and persistent poor practice by licence holders in the assessment process of the current scheme, and forms part of the agency’s approach to better environmental regulation.
It proposes to replace the compliance rating system with five bands: compliant, broadly compliant, improvement required, poor and very poor.
The consultation is open to the public until 12 November. Following a review of consultation responses, Sepa plans to implement the new scheme on 1 January 2016.
Sepa executive director Calum MacDonald (right) said: “The streamlined system will also help to make compliance data far more accessible and transparent, by publishing updated compliance ratings on the Sepa website.
“Once in place, these revisions will enable us to clearly target those who are causing direct harm to the environment and ensure that a robust response is put in place to safeguard our natural environment.”
All licences under waste, pollution prevention and control, radioactive substances, water discharges and abstractions will continue to be assessed but the scope of the assessment has been extended to include other regulatory obligations, including an operator’s duty of care.
The changes would be the first revisions to CAS since it was introduced in 2009 to streamline regulation across multiple licence regimes.