Consultation hub

As Scotland’s principal environmental regulator, our purpose is to protect and improve Scotland’s environment in ways that as far as possible also create health and well-being benefits, and sustainable economic growth.

To help us achieve this, we talk with those who matter most – our communities, the businesses we regulate and their stakeholders and our partners.

Featured consultations

  • Consultation on Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs) for Flood Risk Management in Scotland 2024

    What are Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs)? Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs) are areas where significant flood risk exists now, or is likely to occur in the future, and they help Scotland to understand and prioritise where work could benefit the most. They are a vital part of protecting people, properties, businesses, communities, infrastructure, and our environment. The PVAs are updated and published every six years. They were first...

    Closes 24 June 2024

Open consultations

  • PPC/A/1003144 - William Grant & Sons Distillers Limited: Girvan Grain Distillery - PPC Variation

    It is part of SEPA’s remit to maintain a high-quality environment by setting permit conditions which limit the impacts associated with installations operating under Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Part A regulations. Variation Details SEPA proposes to vary the existing permit of William Grant & Sons Distillers Limited, PPC/A/1003144/CP01/VAR02 at Girvan Grain...

    Closes 21 June 2024

  • Consultation on Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs) for Flood Risk Management in Scotland 2024

    What are Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs)? Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs) are areas where significant flood risk exists now, or is likely to occur in the future, and they help Scotland to understand and prioritise where work could benefit the most. They are a vital part of protecting people, properties, businesses, communities, infrastructure, and our environment. ...

    Closes 24 June 2024

  • CAR/L/1120218 MOWI Scotland Limited: Caolas a Deas West MPFF

    It is part of our remit to protect the marine environment. We regulate finfish farms through permits that limit the pollutants discharged to the water environment and, where appropriate, the amount of water which can be abstracted. If you have an interest in this application please tell us by completing the following questions and submitting them to us by 28 June 2024. ...

    Closes 28 June 2024

  • PPC/A/5006882-Muirden 1 Limited, Beattock Free Range Egg Unit, Ardfour, AB53 4JB- PPC Permit Application

    It's part of SEPA’s remit to maintain a high-quality environment by setting permit conditions which limit the impacts associated with installations operating under Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Part A regulations. Application details We received an application from Muirden 1 Limited for a new permit to operate an installation (PPC/A/5006882) at Beattock...

    Closes 28 June 2024

  • CAR/L/1120220 MOWI Scotland Limited: Caolas a Deas East MPFF

    It is part of our remit to protect the marine environment. We regulate finfish farms through permits that limit the pollutants discharged to the water environment and, where appropriate, the amount of water which can be abstracted. If you have an interest in this application please tell us by completing the following questions and submitting them to us by 28 June 2024. ...

    Closes 28 June 2024

Closed consultations

We Asked, You Said, We Did

Here are some of the issues we have consulted on and their outcomes. See all outcomes

We asked

We consulted in December on our outline proposals for the new, spatially based risk assessment framework for regulating the interaction between sea lice from marine finfish farms and wild Atlantic salmon.

The framework will be applied through the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011.

We worked closely with scientists from Marine Scotland to develop the technical details of the proposed framework as well as with NatureScot and local planning authorities.

Input from stakeholder groups on the Salmon Interactions Working Group (finfish producers, fishery management organisations and environmental NGOs) was invaluable in helping shape and refine the framework during its development.

The proposed framework would be implemented by embedding it within our wider regulatory framework introduced in 2019, which already regulates all discharges from marine finfish farms to the water environment.

You said

In total, we received consultation responses from 62 stakeholders.

We have published all stakeholder responses below, with personal information redacted.

We did

We have read and considered all the responses and have made some changes to the framework as a result. We also held a series of workshops/engagement sessions in June 2022 to update stakeholders on changes to the framework and the implementation process that we were considering and take onboard any additional feedback and comments.

The main changes we intend to take forward are summarised below, alongside our full analysis of the consultation response.

  • We have decided that sea trout should be included from the beginning of the framework. We will initially focus on providing protection of sea trout in Wild Salmon Protection Zones during the early sea phase of their lifecycle and the development of a sea trout monitoring programme that will provide information to help assess risk and further develop the regime.
     
  • We will produce a further consultation in early 2023 detailing how the framework will operate in practice before implementing the regime. This consultation will include details of the choices we have made on controls that will apply and an assessment of the social and economic implications of the framework.
     
  • To allow time for further consultation and development of risk screening models, we will now work towards starting to apply the framework to applications for proposed new farms and expansions of existing farms in the second half of 2023. However, it is important we get it right and, if necessary, we will take additional time if needed.

We asked

SEPA and local authorities worked in partnership to develop and consult on flood risk management plans.

Plans are best if they are informed by local knowledge and help tackle issues that matter to communities in Scotland. This is why the consultation on the flood risk management plans was vital, to help ensure that we get the right actions in the right places.

SEPA hosted the joint consultation on the flood risk management plans and local flood risk management plans on the citizen space platform.

The consultation was carried out in two phases between December 2020 and October 2021. The consultation was open to everyone with an interest in flood risk management. The views SEPA has received during the consultation provide a useful insight into public knowledge and understanding.

You said

In total SEPA received 677 responses. This included 654 online responses and an additional 23 email responses, 77% of responses were from members of the public.

Read the full summary of consultation responses.

 

We did

SEPA has reviewed the feedback received. Some feedback resulted in changes made to the final flood risk management plans and these are summarised below.

Summary of changes made to the plans following the consultation

1. Further actions were added to manage flood risk in several target areas.

2. Additional Local Plan District actions were added.

3. Some actions were removed from the flood risk management plans at the request of local authorities responsible for their delivery due to completion in the time between consultation and publication.

4. Further information was included on how climate change was assessed in the preparation of the plans.

5. Further information was included on how potentially vulnerable areas were identified, and when they will be reviewed again.

6. Information was included on the progress made in implementing actions and working towards objectives in the 2015 strategies.

7. A target area boundary was amended based on new information provided.

8. A description of the importance of community actions, recognising the work that communities do to manage flooding was included, along with further information on where support is available to help people reduce their own flood risk.

9. A description of the catchment-based approach SEPA has taken, and the role it plays in delivering flood risk management actions was provided.

10. The link between flood risk management plans and land use planning was clarified.

11. Habitats Regulations Appraisal statements were added to each relevant action.

12. Some other changes were made to the way information is presented to try to make it clearer e.g., on the timing of actions being carried out.

13. Further information was provided on the uncertainty associated with funding of flood risk management actions.

 

We asked

As part of our work to deliver One Planet Prosperity - Our Regulatory Strategy, in 2020, SEPA consulted on a new charging scheme for marine pen fish farms. The consultation is intended to address historic under-recovery and to fund the additional work introduced by the new approach to regulating aquaculture which ensures a transparent science-based approach.

You said

SEPA received consultation responses from stakeholder groups including a mixture of community and wild fisheries interests. These representations asked for greater ambition and higher chargers.

There were five industry representations which included all the major salmon companies and the British Trout Association representing the trout companies. The industry responses highlighted previous increases over the past five years and largely opposed increases of the scale proposed.