Formal consultations and external event activities

This is the SEPA consultation platform. We welcome your involvement in our policy making and you are invited to comment on any of our current consultations.

This site will help you find and participate in consultations that are of interest to you.

Recently updated consultations are displayed below. Alternatively, search for consultations by keyword, postcode, interest etc

Consultations on applications under the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 and applications under the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 can be found on the SEPA website.

We Asked, You Said, We Did

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

We Asked

Flood Risk Management in Scotland: 2018 Consultation on Potentially Vulnerable Areas closed on 31 July 2018 following a three month public consultation. The consultation process forms part of the work to review and update the 2011 National Flood Risk Assessment, as required by the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009. Our understanding of flood risk is constantly improving and periodic reviews and updates are essential to ensure we can effectively support flood risk management in Scotland. The consultation provided an opportunity for members of the public and our partners to provide us with feedback on the proposed changes to Potentially Vulnerable Areas to make sure we have got it right. In addition to informing our view on Potentially Vulnerable Areas for 2021-2027, the consultation was also an important opportunity to gather views on the retention of Local Plan Districts and future consultation arrangements for flood risk management.

 A link to the Consultation Outcome Report can be found here:

You Said

We received a good level of support for the National Flood Risk Assessment. The 2018 National Flood Risk Assessment has significantly improved upon the previous baseline of flood risk and represents the best understanding yet of flood risk in Scotland. This in no small part reflects the input from partners and the public to improve our underlying evidence.  

We received general agreement from respondents on our proposals for new Potentially Vulnerable Areas. Only 13% of respondents challenged areas we are proposing for designation. Similarly, only 14% of respondents requested additional locations to be identified as Potentially Vulnerable Areas.

We received good support for the retention of the 14 Local Plan Districts, as well as for the planned consultation arrangements for the period 2018-2021.

The public consultation also demonstrated that many people think flooding is a major climate change risk for Scotland.

A full analysis of the responses received can be found in the Consultation Outcome Report here:

We Did

In taking account of the views received, SEPA has amended one of the Potentially Vulnerable Areas that we consulted on and identified two additional Potentially Vulnerable Areas. Our explanation for making these changes, and not making others that were requested via consultation, are explained in the Consultation Outcome Report, see link below.

In the consultation we proposed a minor Local Plan District boundary change, at Nairn, to better accommodate flood risk management in this area. Given the support we received, we intend to proceed with the 14 Local Plan Districts as proposed.

No changes have been made to the Statement on Consultation Arrangements.

A revised set of Potentially Vulnerable Areas have now been submitted to Scottish Ministers for approval.

We Asked

In February 2016, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, the Environment Agency, and Natural Resources Wales (together referred to as “the environment agencies”) consulted on proposed new guidance on “Requirements for Release of Nuclear Sites from Radioactive Substances Regulation” (for full details of the original consultation, please see the text against the grey background in the section beginning with "Overview" below).

You Said

We received comments from 22 organisations and individuals. 

These comments generally supported the environment agencies’ approach. 

Respondents also provided many suggestions for improving the detailed text of our guidance.

We Did

We analysed the consultation comments we received, and produced a report on how we planned to act on these comments (available in the Files section below).

We also carried out a two-year period of trial-use at three different sites:

  • Dounreay in Scotland
  • Trawsfynydd nuclear power station in Wales
  • Winfrith in England

A number of themes emerged from the consultation comments, and the learning from the trial-use period, which prompted us to improve the structure and clarity of our guidance.

However, we did not identify the need for any substantive changes to our approach.

We have now published our new guidance entitled “Management of radioactive waste from decommissioning of nuclear sites: Guidance on Requirements for Release from Radioactive Substances Regulation”, also known as the GRR.  The full text of the GRR is available from:

We have also published a brief non-technical summary of the GRR, which is available from:

We Asked

We sought comments from public bodies involved in management of the water environment, together with land and water managers, and commercial users about developing the second Scotland river basin management plan.

You Said

Comments received were supportive of the proposals set out in the consultation and additional suggestions that will be taken into account as we develop the second plan.

We Did

Summaries of the comments received and actions that will be taken are available at In 2014 we will consult on the changes that are proposed for the second plans that will be published in 2015.