Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

Process Industry Regulation Service


SEPA’s role is to reduce emissions of pollutants and to prevent and minimise harm to the environment and human health. We protect communities by regulating activities that can cause harmful pollution. Through regulation SEPA aims to help business and industry to understand their environmental responsibilities, enable our customers to comply with legislation and good practice and to realise the many economic benefits of good environmental practice.

SEPA currently regulates over 500 major industrial sites that have the potential to cause air pollution. Process industry regulation in Scotland is enacted through the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000 (as amended). These regulations implement the requirements of the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive which aims to provide an integrated approach to pollution control preventing emissions into air, water or soil wherever this is practicable, taking into account waste management. Where prevention is not possible, the aim is to minimise emissions in order to achieve a high level of protection for the environment as a whole.

During the period 2005–2007 the European Commission (EC) sought to review the implementation of the IPPC Directive. On 21 December 2007 the EC adopted a Proposal for a Directive on Industrial Emissions (IE (IPPC) Directive). The Proposal recasts seven existing Directives related to industrial emissions into a single clear and coherent legislative instrument.

The Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory (SPRI) is a publicly accessible electronic database of releases of certain pollutants to all environmental media which supports the prevention and reduction of pollution and allows comparison of releases across industries in Scotland, the UK and Europe. This contributes to the increased public access to environmental information, effective public participation and access to justice required by the Århus Convention. The SPRI will also deliver the system by which Scotland will comply with the requirements of the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register.

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