Response 488935077

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About You

What is your name?

Name
Morag Garden

Are you responding as an individual or an organisation?

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(Required)
Individual
Ticked Organisation

What is your organisation?

Organisation
Scotch Whisky Association

Part 2: Policy Overview

1. Do you agree with the benefits set out here?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

2. Are there any other comments you would like to make on Part 2?

Are there any other comments you would like to make on Part 2?§
No ------------- Additional info on other parts: Part 6 – Waste We support SEPA’s aim to have common administrative processes across all regulated activities whilst retaining the separate technical requirements specific to each regime including waste. We support SEPA’s ambition to move towards a zero waste society and a circular economy. To help deliver these ambitions, we believe the proposed Integrated Authorisation Framework must acknowledge the by-product definition set out in Article 5 of the revised Waste Framework Directive. This is a key enabler in meeting the ambitions to facilitate genuine resource recovery and promote resource efficiency. Furthermore 6.2.4 states that “the integrated authorisation framework ‘Waste’ will be defined in accordance with the WFD. The management of waste types specifically excluded from the scope of the WFD will not require an authorisation as a waste management activity”. We would like SEPA to include a further exclusion within the framework for materials defined as ‘by-products’ set out in Article 5 of the WFD. Further clarification is required on how non-waste/ by-product activities which may use the same technology as some waste activities e.g. AD, will be assigned to the most appropriate tier of authorisation and where they sit in the overall integrated authorisation framework. We would wish for our ‘distillery materials which are used for soil improvement’ to be authorised under the ‘notification’ tier. This level of authorisation would be supported with a sector guidance document. We would also like the opportunity to explore the use of GBRs where our materials are confirmed as by-products, as the obligations under Article 26 of the WFD are not relevant. We would like more clarity on how the universal outcomes will promote sustainable resource use and how this will impact our activities across the range of authorisations which are relevant to our activities. The level of control must be related to the level of risk and possible environmental impact. We are keen to explore how other proposals under the Better Regulation programme e.g. SGA (Sustainable Growth Agreements) which can assist the development of bespoke sector support for actions outside the regulatory process e.g. to explore, develop and trial better practices on resource use and circularity without the burden of a permit or other administration burdens. There also needs to be read across all the different regimes so comparable activities under the waste regime (in terms of effort to assess, determine and monitor) are given the same level of authorisation as similar complex / non-standard activities under the CAR regime. We support the proposal for an ‘operator-based’ registration to authorise the application of organic materials to land for benefit. In addition, we support the proposal for the registration to authorise spreading activities in multiple locations over an annual period. We also support the proposal for ‘an authorised person who has the flexibility to contract out parts of the activity but must demonstrate they have overall control of the operation and will be subject to a FPP test and will have ultimate responsibility for compliance’. Part 7 – Radioactive Substances No additional points raised Part 8 – Controlled Activities Regulations We would be keen to explore with SEPA if any of our related CAR activities could be reviewed in terms of their current level of authorisation. For example would it be more appropriate for our cooling water activities to be controlled via a set of standard rules or a notification? We believe the current level of rules / requirements for our discharge activities should be maintained and with no additional controls considered, unless these activities are deemed to pose a risk of pollution to the environment. Does SEPA’s current assessment of applications and method statements include a review of previous comments regarding both the quality of method statements and /or the quality of any contractors working on behalf of a permit holder? Clear communication to all operators on these matters would assist companies in assessing the knowledge and skill sets of consultants and contractors who they may wish to employ. Part 8 doesn’t mention universal outcomes; we seek clarification on whether they will be applied to CAR activities? Other General points We look forward to providing assistance in the development of the range of authorisation tiers appropriate for all our activities. These will range from draft technical regulations through to GBR guidance as well as bespoke sector guidance. We hope the regulatory approaches outlined in the consultation will be utilised to improve the regulatory process and relationships at COMAH establishments as well as the authorisations covered in the consultation.

3. How could SEPA better support the uptake of new technologies?

How could SEPA better support the uptake of new technologies?
We agree the range of proposals set out in the integrated authorisation framework will support the testing and implementation of innovative technology. The adoption of new technologies must be supported by early and constructive dialogue e.g. agreement of testing parameters, proportionate pilot plant / trial licences etc.

Part 3: Key features of the new framework for authorisation holders.

4. Do you agree that the framework should include a set of universal outcomes?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

5. If so, are the outcomes proposed the right ones?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
Yes. A degree of flexibility needs to be built in when determining the appropriate licence conditions and/ or industry guidance regarding the range of different authorisation tiers, activities or locations.

6. Do you see any opportunities within your sector for industry- led guidance to be produced to support this approach and how could it support you to deliver better?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
Yes. Specific topics would benefit from sector specific guidance to help drive consistency and agreement of proportionate measures. There are also opportunities for general guidance mechanisms (e.g. NetRegs) to help influence other less bespoke activities. This is an area which we would like to explore further and have a number of sector activities which may be suitable for consideration for best practice guidance.

7. Do you understand the descriptions of the regulated activities in Annex 2?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

8. Do you agree that these are the right factors for SEPA to consider?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

9. Do you agree that SEPA should consult on the guidance setting out the likely tier of authorisation for particular activities?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

10. Do you agree that standard rules will deliver the benefits we have set out?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
Yes, we are supportive of standard rules registrations. The Scotch Whisky Association would wish to be involved in the development of any distilling related rules. For clarification, are the standard rules covered by the proposed universal outcomes?

11. Do you agree with the procedure for making standard rules?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

12. Do you agree that SEPA and Scottish Ministers should have the ability to make GBRs?

Comments:
Our preference would be for Scottish Minister to continue to hold the legal status in creating GBRs with the appropriate stakeholder engagement process and public scrutiny. SEPA should continue to review all new information and technology and where a short-term solution is required a position statement could be an interim solution until the next formal review of GBRs.

13. Do you agree that all regulated activities should have an authorised person responsible for overall compliance and that this person should be named in a permit and registration?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

14. Do you think it is proportionate to require the person in control to be the person that notifies an activity in the notification tier?

Comments:
For large infrastructure projects there may be an agent, client or principal contractor who is the nominated person “in control”. In these situations companies may prefer for a company employee to be the principal point of contact regarding the notification of the activities.

15. Do you agree that SEPA should include more than one person as the authorised person where appropriate?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
Yes, this would help in situations where there are shared assets, but perhaps a formal partnership does not exist.

16. Do you have any views on how SEPA should decide if a person is in “control”?

Comments:
Clarity is required around sub-contracted activities, especially where the investment available to the 3rd party operator may be constrained by the contract negotiated with the principal contractor.

17. Question 17 – Do you think the core requirements set out here will deliver the right approach to FPP for the integrated authorisation framework?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

18. Do you think that the criteria set out above will achieve the stated purpose of the FPP test?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

19. Do you agree with the proposed application processes?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
Yes. Sector guidance may also be appropriate to help improve consistency and agree standard methodologies. It is important to provide a clear understanding on what will be deemed as a ‘sufficient application’ e.g. valid application requirements and the quality of information / data needed. This will assist operators in sourcing contractors / consultants with the right knowledge and skill sets to support any application process.

20. Do you agree with the proposal to have a statutory determination period of four months for the majority of permit applications?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

21. Should the legislation make a clear distinction for applications for “non-standard” activities?

Comments:
Extended determination periods can significantly increase development costs. It is therefore critical that the activity is appropriately assessed to confirm it is indeed ‘non-standard’ rather than perhaps ‘controversial’. SEPA should encourage all operators to seek pre-application advice and involve SEPA in the early stages of the process, to minimise the risk of the determination period being extended. A staged consideration process similar to the “undertakings” given by local authority in determining planning applications may be appropriate. This could assist the planning of the consideration process and encourage stakeholder involvement by the applicant at the most cost-effective stage of the overall development process.

22. What other alternative arrangements would you suggest for managing non-standard applications?

Comments:
See above

23. Do you agree with the proposals for variations?

If not, why not?
We seek further clarification on the why operators are not able to apply to change standard rules by submitting a permit variation. Activities that would normally be registered, and who cannot comply with the standard rules, would need to apply for a permit. This means the final rules in the permit could be different from the standard rules for a specified activity. In which case why is it not possible to amend the standard rules in a permit to suit the specific activity / location?

24. Do you agree with the proposals for transfer?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

25. Do you agree with the proposals for surrender?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
If not, why not?
Yes, as ceasing a discharge should not require much evidence and the removal of an engineering structure already requires a permit.

26. Do you agree with the proposed approach to enforcement notices set out above?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
Broadly yes, but we would wish further discussion to clarify what this would mean for our sector and where it sits with the broader better regulation agenda e.g. good communication prior to setting additional requirements via an enforcement notice. Any decision making processes will need to consider the scale and possible impact, prior to setting any additional temporary requirements on the operator. It is also important to build in flexibility as some sectors may prefer clearer requirements set out in the licence, supported by industry best practice guidance, rather than utilising enforcement notices and temporary rules.

27. Do you agree a notice used in the way set out in 3.7.10 to 3.7.12 is a different type of notice and should be therefore be called something different, such as an improvement notice?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

28. What benefits and drawbacks do you foresee from SEPA using enforcement notices in the way set out at 3.7.10 to 3.7.12?

Comments:
SEPA must provide clear guidance regarding the types of incidents / scenarios that will be deemed as having a high potential for environmental harm with supporting justification regarding the proposed use of preventative measures. SEPA staff also needs to be aware of the possible impact on company reputations where enforcement notices are issued. The use of them must be proportionate and also only after other forms of engagement have been exhausted e.g. meetings and other communications to agree a change of behaviours or additional operational actions needed.

29. Do you agree we should retain suspension notices for use in circumstances where we wish to suspend an activity in order to protect the environment, but the authorised person is not being ‘enforced’ against?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments
Yes. In addition, guiding principles must be developed to facilitate the discussions where the scenario includes multiple users and is perhaps catchment wide rather than site specific.

30. Do you agree SEPA should have the power to revoke authorisations in these circumstances?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
Yes. We agree SEPA should develop guidance on the circumstances where this would be appropriate and proportionate. Current licences may include additional capacity to allow for periods of higher production or change in normal production processes due to environmental extremes (e.g. increased water temperature). Temporary situations like these needs to be recognised and taken account when determining the level of reasonable use as part of any authorisation.

31. Do you agree that appeals against SEPA decisions should continue to be heard by the DPEA on behalf of Scottish Ministers?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

32. Do you have any views on the proposed policy principles for transitional arrangements?

Comments:
We are keen to explore whether a sector approach would be helpful and in particular where there are similar operational activities. A phased approach, similar to that used for IPC/PPC implementation may also be useful.

33. Do you have any suggestions for how SEPA might manage the workload to implement integrated, and corporate, authorisations?

Comments:
As above

Part 4: Key features of the new framework for the public

34. Do you support SEPA having more flexibility in how information is made available to the public?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
Yes. Flexibility is to be supported, as long as it doesn’t discriminate against those who do not have access to the internet or other technology. Fully digitising all authorisation data should provide additional benefits to allow interested parties to analyse the information and inform decision making e.g. policy making and Government strategic planning.

35. Do you agree that a consistent, flexible and proportionate approach to public participation should be adopted?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
Yes. The information communicated should also make it clear when a proposal complies with the relevant impact assessments and confirms there is no environmental impact.

36. Do you agree that the procedural arrangements for third party call-in under CAR should be extended to all regulated activities?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

Part 5: Pollution Prevention and Control

37. Do you consider that the provisions of the universal outcomes contain equivalent protection as BAT in relation to domestic activities?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
If not, why not?
Yes, we agree universal outcomes do seem a suitable replacement for domestic BAT. We support the use of Registrations for Part B Activities and would be keen to explore with SEPA the appropriate authorisation tiers regarding all of our PPC activities. Some of our activities are not included in Figure 5.

38. Do you have any comments on the potential impact of this change for other industrial pollution risk activities?

Do you have any comments on the potential impact of this change for other industrial pollution risk activities?
No