Response 540214441

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Name
Mark Williams

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Organisation
Scottish Water

Part 2: Policy Overview

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?§
One of the benefits of simplifying legislation and processes will be greater operational efficiencies by SEPA. More detail is required on how these cost savings will be reflected in the licence fees, and hence passed on to operators. Scottish Water broadly supports the flexibility that the IAF will offer in enabling introduction of simpler, integrated authorisations to replace regime specific authorisations (e.g. single site and corporate authorisations). However, we would not agree with a wholesale move to single site licences; this will suit some activities more than others. For example, to minimise security risks to water supplies, it may be appropriate that authorisations for water resource activities (abstraction & impoundment) remain separate from authorisation of other activities on the same site. Similarly, there may be contractual and financial implications associated with merging authorisations on sites operated by third parties. Other activities, such as public septic tank or sewer network discharges may be suitable for corporate authorisations. Scottish Water would like to discuss integrated authorisations in more detail with SEPA to agree the optimum solution for each of our activities. To aid these discussions significantly, more detail is required on the CAS and charging assessment processes for multi-activity single site and corporate licences. In particular we would welcome further dialogue with SEPA and Scottish Government to discuss in detail the proposals for repealing existing regulations and re-transposing Directives, in particular those related to waste activities and the water environment. Catchment opportunities As an operator of multiple sites and activities across water catchments, we believe there may be opportunities within the IAF to consider holistic multi-site authorisations around water catchments. Catchment based authorisations may enable us to consider the overall catchment needs and better target action where it is more sustainable. Additionally, consideration of variable standards (e.g. seasonal or in response to environmental conditions) may be of benefit in focussing on sustainable approaches and we would welcome further discussion with SEPA of such approaches. This may support more innovative approaches to delivering good outcomes in terms of water quality, quantity, resilience and amenity at a catchment scale. Part 6 comments In Part 6, the consultation proposes to develop a set of technical regulations to put the Safe Sludge Matrix (SSM) on a statutory basis. This has been proposed, and discussed, before (2002-04) and at that time Scottish Water was broadly supportive. We already fully comply with the requirements of the SSM which are within our control. As with the current Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations (Regulation 4), we would not expect the post-application requirements to apply to Scottish Water. These cropping and grazing restrictions are outside our control and apply to the farmers/landowners. Where we can, we provide advice to assist with their compliance.

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

How could SEPA better support the uptake of new technologies?
SEPA could better support the uptake of new technologies in a number of ways: • SEPA should ensure that authorisations are firmly outcome focused and do not specify methods of achieving these outcomes. This would allow operators flexibility to trial or introduce new technology. • Where appropriate, operators could be given scope to take reasonable steps considering the benefits and risks to try out new technologies and develop innovative solutions to address environmental and compliance challenges. This should be done by agreement with SEPA based on the appropriate consideration of risk, without unnecessarily onerous licensing conditions and without the threat of enforcement action if the technology/solution was unsuccessful. SEPA could achieve this by taking a more holistic view of the principles and aims of legislation and by being less precautionary (e.g. consider long term environmental improvements when short term noncompliance could occur during trials). This may help operators to be less risk averse in considering new technologies, noting that the purpose of a trial is to understand risk and performance benefits. • Where authorisations are required for trials, SEPA should include specific provisions for support in the new regulations, such as simplified temporary authorisations, which may help reduce the risk and cost of trialling new technologies and techniques. This should also include clear guidelines on the requirements for consultation between SEPA and an operator, including timescale, to ensure that any authorisations for trialling or implementing new technology are processed quickly. • SEPA could consider working in partnership with operators to identify possible new technologies which could be mutually beneficial (e.g. support improvements to the environment and increase operational efficiencies) and then take an active part in any trials. Sharing ‘ownership’ of such projects could increase the uptake of innovative technologies. • SEPA could consider incentivising innovation, perhaps by recognition in CAS records and/or that operators are ‘going beyond compliance’. Scottish Water believes that supporting best practice and new technology may be a key element in more sustainable performance and hence fit with ‘beyond compliance’. The new regulatory framework should support the option for operators and SEPA to assess the risk/cost/benefit of new technology, and the role of wellplanned trials, in supplementing more sustainable operation and compliance.

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?

Comments:
In general, Scottish Water believes the proposed outcomes of ‘prevent harm’, ‘use resources sustainably’ and ‘prevent incidents and accidents’ are appropriate. It will be important to include realistic measures of success against each outcome. SEPA should consider linking these outcomes to its statutory purpose “to deliver environmental protection and improvement in ways that create health and wellbeing benefits and sustainable economic growth”. Whilst the outcomes should adequately deliver environmental protection, and therefore probably deliver health and wellbeing benefits, it is not clear how improvement is incorporated. Similarly, the outcomes should include reference to economic needs to better fit with a sustainable solution. If improvement is included as an outcome, then it will be important to establish agreed baseline conditions to assess/measure progress. It is important to achieve the correct balance between the outcomes. For example, unsustainable practices being used to prevent harm should be avoided (e.g. reliance on resource intensive processes relative to environmental benefit). The description of ‘prevent incidents and accidents’ in Figure 2 refers to limiting the consequence of accidents. This is the same as ‘preventing harm’ and is duplication.

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:
Scottish Water agrees there may be opportunities for industry-led, and industry-influenced, guidance to support the use of universal outcomes in the integrated authorisation framework. Scottish Water already produces guidance which supports best practice in a number of different areas: trade effluent, byelaws and public awareness (i.e. Cycle Campaign). We have also, as part of Water UK, been involved in development of the Biosolids Assurance Scheme (BAS). This is an independently audited assurance scheme which has been developed to give greater assurance to stakeholders and regulators that recycling biosolids to agricultural land is safe and sustainable. Scottish Water would note that future guidance, whether industry-led or developed by SEPA, needs to be clearly identified as either ‘mandatory’ or ‘best practice’. If it is the latter, then failure to follow non-statutory ‘best practice’ should not necessarily lead to a non-compliance being recorded.

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

Comments:
Scottish Water has some comments and queries relating to the descriptions of regulated activities in Annex 2. Activity 1 in Annex 2 is described as any activity described in Annex 1 of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). Scottish Water would expect the position detailed in SEPA’s paper entitled “The Industrial Emission Directive (IED) – ‘UWWTD Exclusion’ Temporary Holding Position”, dated August 2012, to continue to apply to activities described under Items 5.3(a) and (b) of Annex I of the IED. Please confirm this position will be retained. Scottish Water would question if Activity 16 in Annex 2 covers the application of treated sewage sludge on agricultural land. It is our understanding that where treated sludge is used for agricultural purposes, it is excluded from the scope of the WFD under Article 2(4). This article excludes from scope some categories of waste which can be managed by rules set out in other Directives and sewage sludge it is regulated under the Sludge Directive (86/278/EEC). Furthermore, this Directive states in its introduction that sewage sludge used in agriculture is not covered by Council Directive 75/442/EEC [the Waste Directive, which was subsequently updated by the Waste Framework Directive (2006/12/EC) and then by the revised Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC)]. As Part 6, Section 6.2.4, of the consultation states that “the management of waste types specifically excluded from the scope of the WFD will not require an authorisation as a waste management activity”, Scottish Water seeks confirmation on whether spreading treated sludge on agricultural land is an activity which should be included in Annex 2. We would seek clarity on the scope for SEPA to regulate non-WFD and ‘end-ofwaste’ activities. Our interpretation of the consultation is that regulation might currently be limited to existing General Binding Rules (e.g. where storage of manures/slurries & PAS100/110 products could cause pollution to the water environment). There is evidence that these materials can cause significant nuisance (other than water pollution) and there does not appear to be any proposed mechanism for SEPA to improve existing controls (e.g. no FPP test). Furthermore, with the continuing increase in beneficial use of non-waste organic matter, such as PAS110 digestate, it will become increasingly important to know where these materials have been applied to land. Scottish Water would suggest that landbank management can only be fully effective when records of all material spread on land are reported, to enable the cumulative effects to be assessed. We would support extending the proposals for authorisation of spreading activities to include non-waste organic matter. We believe this would improve controls on operators and allow effective landbank management. In Part 6, Figure 7 outlines the proposed waste activities. Is there overlap between ‘application of waste to land for benefit of soil’ and ‘use of waste in construction, restoration and reclamation’? The latter activity will also result in ‘benefit to soil’.

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

Comments:
Scottish Water agrees that a wide range of factors should be considered by SEPA when deciding which tier of authorisation is appropriate for a particular type and scale of activity. SEPA’s proposed guidance must include the decision making process from beginning to end, including the factors being considered. The process must be unambiguous, transparent and applied consistently. This is particularly important where an assessment of an activity’s risk to the environment and human health is required.

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
Do you agree that SEPA should consult on the guidance setting out the likely tier of authorisation for particular activities?
Scottish Water strongly agrees that SEPA should consult on the guidance which will set out the likely tier of authorisation for all activities and should also consult on any subsequent changes to that guidance. This is a necessary step to enable operators to understand how authorisations might work in practice. As stated in the answer to Qu.8, the guidance should cover the decision making process, especially assessments to determine the risk to the environment and human health. Scottish Water notes that whilst further consultation is planned, Parts 5 to 8 include the tier of authorisation being considered for most activities. Comments related to Scottish these sections are given below: Part 5 Section 5.2.6 states that MCPD activities can be regulated under the notification, registration or permit tiers. Figure 5 shows this type of activity is only allocated to the registration or permit tiers (for standard and high risk plant respectively). Scottish Water would welcome consideration of the notification tier for some MCP and would also request more detail on the definition of the ‘standard’ and ‘high risk’ categories, with examples. Part 6 GBRs In Section 6.2.9, it is explained that the Waste Framework Directive (WFD) effectively restricts the use of GBRs to non-WFD activities. As explained in the answer to Qu.7, clarity is required on whether applying treated sewage sludge on agricultural land is a non-WFD activity and, therefore, could be authorised under a GBR instead of a registration (which is the proposal outlined in Section 6.4.30). The recent consultation on amendments to the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011, included a proposal to make GBR18 applicable to storage and application of sewage sludge. This seems to contradict the IAF consultation which proposes to restrict the use of GBRs to activities solely related to storage of waste prior to collection. There are three proposed GBRs for storage of wastes prior to collection. Scottish Water notes that activities currently authorised under a Paragraph 40 exemption are included in one of these GBR categories (Figure 7) and seek confirmation that activities authorised under a Paragraph 48 exemption would also be included. We currently have a number of ‘hub’ sites which are authorised under a Paragraph 48 exemption to store WEEE from smaller surrounding sites prior to uplift. In addition to the proposed GBRs for storage of waste activities prior to collection, Scottish Water would welcome inclusion of similar authorisations for storage and use of end-of-waste products (e.g. PAS100/110). Currently, GBRs for these materials are limited to preventing pollution to the water environment. It would be beneficial to adopt a more holistic approach to the environment and include impact on human health (e.g. nuisance from traffic & odour). Registrations Section 6.4.30 proposes an ‘operator-based’ registration to authorise applications of sewage sludge and other wastes for benefit to agricultural and non-agricultural land. Scottish Water would note that Recommendation 3 of the Review of Storage and Spreading of Sewage Sludge on Land in Scotland (“the Sludge Review”) refers to a licence for operators involved in handling, storage, transportation and spreading activities. It is not clear if the proposed ‘operator-based’ registration will relate to all these activities or solely to the spreading activity. It is also noted that Recommendation 3 refers to ‘material’ not ‘waste’ and therefore could be interpreted to include non-wastes. As expressed already, there may be benefits to improving controls on all operators spreading organic material and could also address concerns raised by interested stakeholders. Section 6.4.44 states that sewage sludge will not be included in the list of acceptable wastes types for restoration projects in the registration tier. Where this material is to be used to restore, reclaim or improve land, a permit will be required. Scottish Water seeks clarity on the reason for excluding sewage sludge from the list of acceptable wastes. Treated sewage sludge is a non-hazardous waste, with beneficial properties that are well documented, and we would like to see the evidence and justification for classifying it as a higher risk waste. It does not seem proportionate, relative to the risk. Part 7 Scottish Water would welcome further consultation on the detailed proposals for migrating the radioactive substances exemption regime into the IAF. Sections 7.3.32 and 7.3.33 suggest that exemptions are likely to become GBRs or notifications, with the possibility of standard rules being used too. More information is required before we can comment on the implications for our laboratory activities, which are currently covered by exemptions. Part 8 GBRs Section 8.2.6 proposes that activities currently authorised under CAR 2011 at the GBR tier of authorisation will continue to be authorised at this tier in the new framework. Scottish Water is very concerned that pesticide spraying activities will be authorised by a GBR and therefore will not require any prior contact or agreement with SEPA. Specific concerns, particularly in relation to the proposed amendments of GBR 23, were included in our response to the recent consultation on amendments to CAR 2011. Where spraying activities are planned, Scottish Water needs to be consulted so that we can advise where greater controls should be applied to protect drinking water sources. This would also give us an opportunity to sample and monitor for any potential breach of the Drinking Water Directive Standard for pesticides.

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

Comments:
The range and scope of the standard rules will determine if the benefits will be delivered and we welcome the requirement for SEPA to consult on any draft standard rules. We would note that the benefits are primarily focused on the regulator, rather than operators. A Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) would help to characterise the impacts and benefits across the economy.

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

If not, why not?
The procedure for making standard rules is not clearly explained in the consultation and further information is required before Scottish Water can comment. The proposal is that there will be no right of appeal against the introduction of new standard rules, but an appeal can be made against the inclusion of a new rule being included in an authorisation. This implies that is could be possible to have standard rules which are not being applied in a standard way, in which case, the rule ceases to be standard. It is not clear if a SEPA-initiated variation will be issued when a new standard rule is introduced. Scottish Water would prefer to receive a variation rather than just a notification of a rule change. With thousands of authorisations, it is vital that we retain an up-to-date permissions record.

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

Comments:
The benefit of SEPA having the ability to make GBRs is not clear. Whilst it may allow SEPA to react to new and emerging environmental developments or innovative activities, it is not clear if the process to make or amend GBRs will be any quicker than that followed by Scottish Ministers. Stakeholder consultation will be required for both processes, and Scottish Water would expect the consultation periods to be the same. Furthermore, SEPA-initiated GBRs appear to require an extra step of requiring Scottish Minister approval. There is a risk that having two different types of GBRs, those set in regulation and those set by SEPA, will lead to the perception that some are more important than others. It will be critical to manage the communication of both types of GBRs to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are kept fully aware of their obligations. Having two sources of information, the regulations and SEPA’s website, could increase the risk of noncompliances occurring.

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?

If not why not?
Provided that ‘authorised person’ is clearly defined and extends to a partnership or corporate body, then Scottish Water agrees that all regulated activities should have an authorised person responsible for overall compliance and that this person should be named in a permit or registration. We would anticipate that all our existing authorisations would specify the ‘authorised person’ as ‘Scottish Water’.

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?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
Comments:
Scottish Water does not agree that notification of activities in the notification tier should be restricted to the authorised person. Large organisations may have an approved framework of contractors/agents who are suitably skilled/accredited to submit certain types of notifications on behalf of an authorised person.

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

Comments:
Where appropriate, it may be beneficial to include more than one person as the authorised person. More detail is required on situations where this could occur.

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

Comments:
The factors listed in Section 3.5.6 are appropriate for determining if an authorised person is ‘in control’.

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

Comments:
In principle, Scottish Water agrees with the proposals for the Fit and Proper Person (FPP) test and welcomes further consultation on the proposed SEPA guidance. We support the proposal in Section 8.3.23 to continue the current level of assessment for activities that Scottish Water has a duty to undertake. The consultation does not clearly identify the ‘core requirements’; it is assumed these are the principles set out in Section 3.5.18. The proposal to assess the authorised person(s) and also ‘other relevant person(s)’ could lead to confusion. It is not clear when additional FPP tests would be required for ‘other relevant person(s)’ and when a ‘company’ FPP would suffice (Section 3.5.24). We seek direct discussion with SEPA to determine what FPP tests may mean for our sector.

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

Comments:
The stated purpose of the FPP test is to determine if the authorised person, or other relevant persons, is fit and proper to carry out the activity. Clear guidelines will be required on the evidence that will be required to demonstrate the FPP criteria have been met (e.g. what will be required to prove technical competence). The process by which SEPA will assess compliance with the criteria will need to be transparent and consistent. In particular, the assessment of ‘good repute’ and ‘any other grounds on which it would be reasonable to determine the authorised person is not fit and proper’ will need to be clear. It is not clear if weighting will be applied to any of the assessment criteria.

19. Do you agree with the proposed application processes?

Comments:
Scottish Water supports the principle of simplifying application processes for the benefit of both SEPA and applicants. To reflect the aims of the Better Environmental Regulation programme, the application processes should be: - Transparent Clear, unambiguous instructions are required to understand SEPA’s expectations for “good quality” applications. SEPA’s internal targets for each stage in the application process should be published, together with regular updates on performance against these service targets (similar to the performance information published by utility companies in relation to provision of infrastructure for developers). - Accountable Grounds for refused applications should be clearly stated.Requests for additional information should be justified. - Proportionate SEPA should set internal targets to deliver quicker determinations for simpler applications, such as administrative variations (“fast-track”). For example, SEPA should aim to confirm the determination period for these types of application in significantly less than the proposed six weeks. - Consistent SEPA’s permitting team must adopt the same approaches throughout the applications process (e.g. advice at pre-application stage, requests for supplementary information and in the decision making process). - Targeted The focus must be on preventing harm, based on evidence (e.g. setting discharge limits based on influent concentrations and receiving water dilutions) and should consider the overall sustainability implications in the licence. Further development and clarity is required on the following specific points: Application Process for Registrations: Part 8, Section 8.3.14 states that SEPA can escalate a registration-level application to permit level if it considers the activity is having, or would be likely to have, a significant impact on the water environment. This would be to allow the potential risk to be assessed and to allow appropriate consultation. More detail is required on the stages within the proposed 28 day determination period for registration applications and, in particular, the process for escalation needs to be explained further. A flow chart which outlines the keys stages in the registration application process would be helpful and this should include a link to the permit application process for the escalation stage. It is not clear if an escalated registration application would enter the permit application process part way through the determination period or if it would be assessed from the beginning of the four month period. Application Process for Permits: A pre-application stage should be included in the process flow chart and consideration should be made to making this a compulsory step. This stage should allow pre-application discussions to be held with the permitting team and/or the local operational officers, who may have historical knowledge of the activity. The application form should allow evidence of these discussions to be submitted as supplementary information. Pre-application discussions are likely to be required to establish the correct application fee and SEPA should consider setting internal targets for confirming this type of information. SEPA should set performance targets for acknowledging receipt of applications and completing the initial assessment to check an application is complete and the correct fee has been paid. Application fees: More detail will be required on the fees that will be applied when a registration application is escalated to a permit and when permit applications are returned due to insufficient quality.

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
If not, what do you think the determination period should be?
Scottish Water agrees that a maximum statutory determination period of four months should be allowed for the majority of permit applications. We would strongly support SEPA’s development of much quicker internal targets for determining simpler permit applications, such as administrative and standard variations. These service level targets should be visible and performance against them should be published regularly to demonstrate SEPA is providing good customer service.

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

Comments:
Scottish Water broadly supports the proposal that legislation should allow an option for SEPA to agree an alternative determination period for ‘non-standard’ activities. We would agree that the criteria for defining non-standard activities should be set out in supporting SEPA guidance and suggest that this guidance should consider the following: • Further consultation on the proposed guidance is required and terms such as ‘likely’ and ‘significant’ need to be clearly defined. • The proposal to categorise novel and innovative activities as ‘non-standard’ and, therefore, potentially requiring an extended determination period does not appear to align with the intention of the integrated authorisation framework to be more supportive of innovation. It is important that SEPA facilitates the delivery of innovative and novel technologies to improve environmental and sustainable performance. • We would note that ‘scale’ should be taken into consideration when deciding if an activity is ‘non-standard’. For example, novel or innovative activities which are small scale should not require a determination period that is longer than four months. • Similarly, if novel or innovative activities, regardless of scale, are not likely to cause significant environmental harm, then the determination period should not need to be extended beyond four months.

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

Comments:
Where an agreed extended determination period is not met, consideration needs to be given to possible options for the applicant. This might include referring the application to the Scottish Ministers for determination.

23. Do you agree with the proposals for variations?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
If not, why not?
Scottish Water agrees, in principle, with the proposals for variations, but we have some suggestions where this may be improved. Where changes to standard rules occur, Scottish Water would prefer that registrations and permits are re-issued instead of SEPA notifying those affected, with the details of the effective date of the new rules. The principle of the IAF is to simplify the licensing regime and therefore, for ease of interpretation and tracking purposes, it would be better to issue an updated authorisation, which supersedes the previous version, at each change in standard rules. A process flow chart for SEPA-initiated variations should be developed and should include a consultation stage with the operator(s). We note that both ‘variation’ and ‘modification’ are used in the consultation. A consistent use of terminology should be adopted in the new regulations.

24. Do you agree with the proposals for transfer?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
If not, why not?
Scottish Water agrees with the proposals for transfer.

25. Do you agree with the proposals for surrender?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
If not, why not?
In principle, Scottish Water agrees with the proposals for surrender and welcomes further consultation on the proposed SEPA guidance. The proposals could have financial implications and more detail is needed on the requirements for restoring the environment to a satisfactory state. There may be benefit in including the requirements for surrender in the registration/permit as it may require a long term assessment of activities prior to them ceasing. As legitimate users of the environment, with an interest in its resilience, we would ask how SEPA would anticipate enforcing the need to re-instate the environment.

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

Comments:
At this stage, Scottish Water cannot agree to the proposed approach as we require further information on the proposals. We would welcome a further consultation. In particular, more detail is required on the proposal for SEPA to be able to serve an enforcement notice even though an activity is compliant with the conditions of an authorisation. This is particularly important where SEPA considers that an activity is inadequately managed and harm might arise. The benefit of producing outcome-focused permits, with prescription removed as much as possible, is that operators will have greater flexibility to manage activities to fulfil the authorisation requirements. This will lead to operators assessing risk of harm when deciding on appropriate management activities. Risk assessment is subjective and it must be recognised that an operator’s assessment of risk could differ from SEPA’s assessment. SEPA must ensure that a consistent and transparent approach is adopted and the use of enforcement notices in this way should be carefully considered to avoid negating the benefits of an outcome focused regime. More detail is required on the proposal for SEPA to use an enforcement notice to cease or suspend an activity. The level of harm that would trigger such a response will need to be very clearly defined and applied consistently. It should also be recognised that for some activities, such as wastewater treatment, the implications of stopping will need to be carefully considered. If a condition of an enforcement notice cannot be reasonably met, then consideration should be given to suspending the notice condition until an appeal has concluded. To avoid unnecessary appeals, SEPA should consult with the operator prior to setting the enforcement notice conditions. Whilst the outcome/objective of the environment to deliver compliance/address harm is not in question, it is important that conditions are proportionate, can be reasonably achieved and agreed plans for delivery can be set. In many situations, the means to correct a situation may not be apparent at the outset and may need a period of investigation/consultation before the correct solution emerges and can be implemented. It is not clear where an enforcement notice of this type is positioned in SEPA’s enforcement regime (e.g. FMPs/VMPs etc). More detail is required, particularly on whether additional enforcement can be implemented whilst this type of notice is in effect and the conditions are being complied with.

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?

Comments:
Where non-compliance with a condition has occurred or harm has been caused to the environment, then ‘enforcement’ notice would still be appropriate. Where there is a perceived risk of non-compliance or of harm occurring, then ‘improvement’ notice would be more appropriate.

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:
As mentioned in our answer to Qu.26, Scottish Water needs further information on the proposed approach to enforcement notices before we can comment on potential benefits and drawbacks.

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
In general, Scottish Water agrees with this proposal. In Section 3.7.14, suspension of abstraction during periods of drought is given as an example of when a suspension notice might be issued. In this circumstance, Scottish Water would require careful risk assessment of the need to protect the environment and the need to provide statutory water and wastewater services. We would note that it is not clear if a ’suspension notice’ is separate and different to an ‘enforcement notice’. Our interpretation of the consultation is that they are the same; when SEPA wishes to suspend an activity, an enforcement notice would be issued which would require the regulated activity to cease. In circumstances where the authorised person is not being ‘enforced’ against, it may be confusing to issue/receive an enforcement notice to suspend the activity and consideration should be given to creating a distinctly separate notice.

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

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
In general, Scottish Water agrees with this proposal, providing all other options to achieve compliance have been exhausted. We would welcome further consultation on SEPA’s proposed guidance so that the circumstances under which it might be appropriate to revoke an authorisation are clearly understood. Section 3.7.17 refers to a notice being issued to require the environment is returned to a satisfactory state. It is not clear if this notice is an enforcement notice or another kind of notice. The criteria for determining when a ‘satisfactory state’ has been achieved need to be clearly set out, either in the regulations, or SEPA policy or in each notice that is issued.

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
If not, which alternative body do you think should hear such appeals and why?
Scottish Water agrees with this proposal.

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

Comments:
Implementation of the Integrated Authorisation Framework and transferring authorisations into the new regime is an ambitious project. Scottish Water agrees that further consultation is required on details of the transitional arrangements. It is recognised in the consultation that the transition process is expected to be spread over several years. Communication by SEPA and visibility of the programme will be critical to the success of this process. It will be important to consider the following to maintain a fair approach: • The links to the Compliance Assessment Scheme and the Charging Scheme need to be clear. During the transition period, compliance assessment of existing licences, with multiple conditions, needs to be comparable with assessment of simpler outcome focused authorisations. Details of the compliance factor and its application in the Charging Scheme will also be required. Equally, we need to understand how CAS is being delivered to accommodate IAF – the change programmes need to be integrated. • Clarification is needed on where the Fit and Proper Person (FPP) test will fit into the transition process. It is not clear if existing authorisations will be transferred into the appropriate tier before or after a FPP assessment has been completed. • Same-sector authorisations should be transitioned into the new regime simultaneously to avoid situations where one operator is assessed for compliance against the old licence format and another operator is assessed against the new (outcome focused) permits. Scottish Water would welcome discussion with SEPA on opportunities for single site and corporate authorisations.

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

Comments:
Scottish Water has a significant number of authorisations under the existing discrete regulatory regimes and, therefore, careful consideration of the volume and variety of activities will be needed to ensure a smooth transition to the new integrated framework. Previous experience of transitional arrangements (e.g. CoPA to CAR and individual CSO/EO consents to SNLs) has shown that significant resources are required and the timescale for completion is often underestimated. Possible options for how SEPA might manage the workload could include: - Dedicated team(s), perhaps at sector level - Sharing workload with operators (e.g. similar to SNL working group)

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:
Scottish Water is generally supportive of SEPA having more flexibility in how information is made available to the public. The content and format of that information should be carefully considered to ensure that the potential to misinterpret the data is minimised. Scottish Water would also seek assurances that the information to be made public would not put the security of Scotland’s water supply at risk and we would require to be consulted on any proposals.

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:
Scottish Water is broadly supportive of the proposed approach to public participation and we welcome further consultation on the details and precise approach that will be used. It is proposed to tailor public participation on the basis of risk posed by the activity or type of activity. It is important that any risk assessment process is consistently applied and transparent. It is also important to also understand the implications of public consultation on the application determination period. Clear guidelines are required for the permit application process so that applicants are aware, at the pre-application stage, of the likelihood of consultation being needed and the consequence for the determination period.

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

Comments:
Scottish Water has no objection to this proposal.

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?

If not, why not?
No comment

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 comment

Part 7: Radioactive Substances

39. Do you agree that it is appropriate to have controls on radioactively contaminated materials whilst they remain on the premises where they were contaminated?

If not, why not?
No comment

40. Do you foresee any practical implications of the proposal to have controls on radioactively contaminated materials whilst they remain on the premises where they were contaminated?

Do you foresee any practical implications of the proposal to have controls on radioactively contaminated materials whilst they remain on the premises where they were contaminated?
No comment

41. Do you agree that all substances associated with NORM industrial activities should be subject to control under the integrated authorisation framework, where they exceed the out-of-scope values, irrespective of whether or not they are classed as radioactive material or waste?

If not, why not?
No comment

42. Do you foresee any significant implications of this proposed change, e.g. are there any finished products (consumer products or construction materials) that would become classified as radioactive material?

Do you foresee any significant implications of this proposed change, e.g. are there any finished products (consumer products or construction materials) that would become classified as radioactive material?
No comment

43. Do you agree that we should continue to exclude the public from the scope of the radioactive substances regulatory regime?

If not, why not?
No comment

44. Do you agree with the proposed radioactive substances regulated activities?

If not, why not?
Scottish Water would welcome further consultation on the detailed proposals for migrating the radioactive substances exemption regime into the IAF. Currently, activities in our laboratories are covered by exemptions and we would like to understand more about the proposed tier of authorisation and possible use of standard rules.

45. Do you agree with the proposals for applying the new regulatory regime to nuclear licensed sites?

If not, why not?
No comment

46. Do you foresee any problems with removing the requirement to display certificates?

Do you foresee any problems with removing the requirement to display certificates?
No comment

47. Do you agree that SEPA should have the power to impose conditions in an authorisation requiring the permit holder to carry out operations off their site?

If not, why not?
No comment