Our role

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The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is Scotland’s principal environmental regulator, protecting and improving Scotland’s environment.

As a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government, our role is to make sure that the environment and human health are protected, to ensure that Scotland’s natural resources and services are used as sustainably as possible and contribute to sustainable economic growth.

With around 1300 people based across Scotland, from the Highlands and Islands to the Borders, we regulate and advise on a wide range of environmental activities.

As an organisation with a strong science base, we constantly assess the quality of our environment by monitoring our air, land and water and use our findings to advise government, industry and the public on environmental best practice.

We help business and industry to understand and comply with their environmental responsibilities and legislation and have a range of enforcement powers which we can apply to ensure that regulations are complied with.

In addition, we work in partnership with other agencies, organisations and policy makers, to increase environmental understanding and build consensus on environmental priorities and issues.

We are also responsible for delivering Scotland's flood warning system, working with the Scottish Government to deliver Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan, operating the Scottish aspect of the Radioactive Incident Monitoring Network and work with the Health and Safety Executive to control the risk of major accidents at industrial sites.