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Scottish Environment Protection Agency reports growth in compliance

Almost 90% of Scottish operators with environmental permits achieved satisfactory levels of compliance in 2012, figures from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) indicate.

SEPA has released data of its Compliance Assessment Scheme, which details how well permitted operators in Scotland have met the conditions of their licences. The scheme includes waste management and pollution prevention and control permits.

The figures suggested an improvement in compliance of 2% year-on-year, with 89% of 3,839 operators achieving a rating of ‘excellent’, ‘good’ or ‘broadly compliant’.

Some 4% were classed ‘at risk’, 6% ‘poor’, and 1% ‘very poor’.

Calum MacDonald, SEPA’s executive director, said: “The results of the 2012 Compliance Assessment Scheme are a good indicator that the level of compliance amongst SEPA licence holders is on the rise.”

SEPA noted that since 2011 it had introduced a risk based assessment system that allowed the agency to reduce the inspections frequency of low risk permits in favour of a more targeted approach to inspecting high risk operations and under-performing sites.

“The focus of this approach has moved SEPA from purely identifying non-compliance to also identifying the root-cause of non-compliance to prevent future occurrence,” it said.

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