Land contamination and impacts on the water environment

Closed 31 Mar 2021

Opened 23 Nov 2020


The Scottish Government is consulting on a framework for Protecting Scotland’s groundwater from pollution. The consultation proposes revised environmental standards, greater clarity about the circumstances where remediation of land contamination is required and an improved approach to prioritising areas of for remedial action.

To align with the proposals SEPA has revised the guidance, Land contamination and impacts on the water environment, which is set out below.

It is recommended that you read the Scottish Government consultation prior to reading this guidance. This will allow you to understand the changes being proposed by the Scottish Government before reading the more detailed guidance.

The closing date for this consultation is 31 March 2021, not 12 February as stated in the pdf document. Due to a sophisticated criminal cyber-attack on SEPA, we are unable to amend the document at this time. 

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Why your views matter

The key concepts and associated questions regarding groundwater standards and land contamination are set out in the Scottish Government consultation document. To help industry and other interested stakeholders further understand the detail of the proposed approach SEPA has updated the guidance, Land contamination and impacts on the water environment.

Your views are sought on several issues set out in the document and associated appendices. We will use your views to produce a revised version of this guidance.


  • Agriculture
  • Distilling
  • Hydropower
  • Local Authorities
  • Responsible Authorities
  • Industry
  • Landowners/ managers
  • Forestry
  • Public
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Land


  • Water Regulation
  • Diffuse pollution
  • Restoration
  • Protected areas
  • Water Quality
  • Water flows and levels
  • Flood Risk Management Planning
  • River Basin Management Planning
  • Resources
  • Regulated activities