About us

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is Scotland’s environmental regulator. Our purpose is to protect and improve the environment, including the sustainable management of natural resources. We also contribute to improving the health and wellbeing of people in Scotland and to achieving sustainable economic growth. We do this by being an excellent environmental regulator, helping business and industry to understand their environmental responsibilities, enabling customers to comply with legislation and good practice and to realise the many economic benefits of good environmental practice. We protect communities by regulating activities that can cause harmful pollution and by monitoring the quality of Scotland's air, land and water. The regulations we implement also cover the keeping and use, and the accumulation and disposal, of radioactive substances.

SEPA is a non-departmental public body, accountable through Scottish Ministers to the Scottish Parliament. SEPA has been advising Scottish ministers, regulated businesses, industry and the public on environmental best practice for over a decade.

We protect the environment and human health through the work of our 1,300 employees who cover a range of specialist areas including chemistry, ecology, environmental regulation, hydrology, engineering, quality control, planning, communications, business support and management functions. Our 22 offices enable us to work across the whole of Scotland from the Highlands and Islands to the Borders and our corporate office is in Stirling.

We monitor and report on the state of Scotland's environment and use that sound scientific understanding to inform our independent regulation of activities that may affect its quality. We also publish a wide range of publications and environmental reports.

We are also responsible for delivering Scotland's flood warning system, helping to implement Scotland's National Waste Strategy and controlling, with the Health and Safety Executive, the risk of major accidents at industrial sites.

The broad framework within which SEPA operates is set out in a Framework Document, which also defines key roles and responsibilities which underpin the relationship between SEPA and the Scottish Government. While this document does not confer any legal powers or responsibilities, it forms a key part of SEPA’s accountability and governance framework.