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As part of our commitment to continually improve our service and to help our clients meet their legal obligations, we continue to update the Legal Registers on our website and provide free quarterly legal compliance updates to anyone who subscribes. The purpose of these updates is to ensure you stay up to date with any changes in your legal compliance obligations, our updates can also be kept and can be used as evidence that your business is staying up to date with any changes in the legislation, this can be very helpful at audit time.
The Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018 establish a framework for the regulation of certain activities that have the potential to cause environmental harm in Scotland. The purpose of the regulations is to protect the environment and human health by ensuring that these activities are carried out in compliance with environmental standards and conditions.
Under the regulations, certain activities such as waste management, water discharge, and pollution prevention may require an environmental authorization from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). The requirements for obtaining an authorization may include submitting a detailed application, providing evidence of compliance with environmental standards and conditions, and paying applicable fees.
The regulations apply to any person or organization that carries out or intends to carry out regulated activities in Scotland, including public bodies, businesses, and individuals. The regulations also provide for enforcement action in the event of non-compliance, which may include fines, enforcement notices, or suspension or revocation of authorizations.
The Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018 require applicants for environmental authorisations to provide evidence of their compliance with environmental standards and conditions. This evidence may include:
1. A detailed description of the proposed activity, including the nature and scope of the activity, the location, and the expected environmental impact.
2. An assessment of the potential environmental impact of the proposed activity, including an evaluation of the risks and hazards associated with the activity and an analysis of the likely effects on the environment and human health.
3. Evidence of compliance with relevant environmental standards and conditions, including those set out in relevant legislation, permits, and codes of practice.
4. Information on the measures that will be taken to prevent or mitigate any adverse environmental impact of the proposed activity, including the use of pollution control technologies and best practices.
5. Evidence of financial provision for the management and remediation of any environmental harm resulting from the proposed activity, including any necessary insurance, bonds, or guarantees.
6. Monitoring and reporting arrangements to demonstrate ongoing compliance with environmental standards and conditions, including the submission of regular reports and the implementation of corrective actions as required.
The evidence requirements may vary depending on the nature and scale of the proposed activity, and SEPA may request additional information or evidence as necessary to ensure compliance with environmental standards and conditions.
The Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018 provide some exemptions from the requirement for environmental authorisations. These exemptions include:
1. Certain low-risk activities that are deemed to have a low potential for environmental harm, such as small-scale waste management activities or low-level water discharges.
2. Activities that are already subject to other regulatory regimes that provide equivalent environmental protection, such as the regulations governing the use of genetically modified organisms.
3. Activities that are carried out for the purposes of national security, defence, or emergency response.
4. Activities that are carried out as part of scientific research or development, where the potential environmental harm is low, and where measures are in place to ensure that the activity is carried out in a controlled and responsible manner.
5. Activities carried out as part of traditional and cultural practices, where the potential environmental harm is low, and where measures are in place to ensure that the activity is carried out in a controlled and responsible manner.
6. Activities that are carried out as part of an ongoing program of environmental restoration or remediation, where the potential environmental harm is already established, and where measures are in place to ensure that the activity is carried out in a controlled and responsible manner.
These exemptions are subject to certain conditions and limitations, and SEPA may require evidence or information to demonstrate that the exemption applies in a particular case.
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Including our quarterly legal compliance updates that are a great resource for evidence for your ISO audits.