Implications for reservoir managers and panel engineers

SEPA is committed to supporting everyone it regulates during the COVID-19 public health emergency, while maintaining protection of Scotland’s environment. This regulatory position and guidance is for reservoir managers and panel engineers.

SEPA expects people to have business continuity arrangements in place to ensure compliance with their SEPA permit or other environmental regulatory requirements during EU Exit and COVID-19. As SEPA responds to the impacts of the cyber-attack we will provide updates on our service status and support businesses. We are clear we expect everyone we regulate to continue to comply with Scotland’s environmental laws.

Where compliance with a SEPA Permit or other regulatory requirement is not possible for an individual site(s), a type of activity or for a sector, we may temporarily take a regulatory position that any failure to comply with those requirements will not be treated as a non-compliance for compliance assessment or enforcement purposes. This will be where that non-compliance is unavoidable and solely as a direct result of the impact of EU Exit or COVID-19 and will not lead to significant environmental harm.

We are only likely to consider taking a temporary regulatory position if the person contacts us at an early stage to advise us of a non-compliance or potential non-compliance, and we are satisfied that:

  • they have taken all reasonable steps to try and maintain compliance;
  • they will adequately manage any risks of harm to the environment or human health arising from the non- compliance.

If we take a temporary regulatory position we expect the person to:

  1. Tell us as soon as possible when they have, or will, become non-compliant;
  2. Comply with conditions attached to a temporary regulatory position
  3. Continue to meet all other Permit conditions or other environmental regulatory requirements not covered by a temporary regulatory position
  4. Return to compliance as quickly as possible. Any temporary regulatory position we take is likely to be time limited (normally to three months) but if the person can return to compliance quicker we will expect them to do so;
  5. Prevent and mitigate harm to the environment or human health;
  6. Follow the waste hierarchy in making waste management decisions and when waste is sent for re-use, recycling or disposal send it to a suitably authorised site.

SEPA expects people to have business continuity arrangements in place to ensure compliance with their SEPA permit or other environmental regulatory requirements during EU Exit and COVID-19.  We are clear we expect everyone we regulate to continue to comply with Scotland’s environmental laws. 

Where compliance with a SEPA Permit or other regulatory requirement is not possible for an individual site(s), a type of activity or for a sector, we may temporarily take a regulatory position that any failure to comply with those requirements will not be treated as a non-compliance for compliance assessment or enforcement purposes. This will be where that non-compliance is unavoidable and solely as a direct result of the impact of EU Exit or COVID-19 and will not lead to significant environmental harm.

Following discussion with other reservoir regulatory authorities in England and Wales, the Scottish Government and key stakeholders, we have developed a temporary regulatory position and guidance for reservoir managers and panel engineers.

The temporary regulatory position and guidance sets out steps that should be taken if compliance with certain aspects of the Reservoirs (Scotland) Act (2011) is no longer possible, for example, scheduled site inspections. This guidance will support reservoir managers and engineers, while ensuring reservoirs remain structurally safe and local communities and businesses are protected.

 

Reservoirs regulatory position and guidance

Contact information

Let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to carry out a scheduled inspection of your reservoir or comply with the Reservoirs (Scotland) Act 2011.

You should contact our Reservoirs Regulatory Unit by emailing us, using our online contact form, with all the relevant details including RES/R number, reservoir name and the reservoir manager's name.

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