Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

Access to Information

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The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 give you the right of access to our information.

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, our people and online services are committed to working to support you and maintain our services. Please visit Accessing our information and data on our Coronavirus website to understand how we're working and for help on making an information request.

We are also required to produce and maintain a publication scheme, making as much information available as possible. 

Making a request for SEPA’s information

We have adopted the Model Publication Scheme, produced by the Scottish Information Commissioner.

You can view the model scheme on the website of the Scottish Information Commissioner.

We have produced a Guide to Information which is also available as a downloadable pdf to help you learn more about how to access information from us.

Please note that it is not always necessary to make a formal request to access our information, much of which can be found on our website. A range of environmental and hydrometric datasets can be accessed via our Environmental Data webpage. Public Register information is available online and directly from our registries. We also provide information and environmental data for diligence requests.

However, if you are unable to find what you need in these ways, you can request any information, regardless of who you are, where you live or what you want the information for.

To submit a request for information, you can contact our team directly using the contact details below.

Access to Information Team
Strathallan House
Castle Business Park
Tel: 01786 457700

We must respond to your request within 20 working days.

However, if your request concerns environmental information, we are, in exceptional circumstances, allowed to take up to 40 working days to respond.

You should be as specific as possible about the information you want, although you do not need to tell us why you want it.

Once your enquiry has been received, we will send you written acknowledgement and a unique reference number, which should be quoted in any correspondence relating to your request.

Most enquiries are free of charge. However, if your request takes more than seven hours to complete, the following charges apply:

  • £25 an hour of staff time for environmental information
  • £15 an hour of staff time for non-environmental information, with charges applicable up to 10 per cent of the total cost

If we need to make a charge, we will contact you before work on your request commences and advise you of this. Please see our Guide to information for further details.

There are a number of ways to request information from SEPA – please contact us for more information. 

Making a request for personal data

You have a right to see information about yourself by submitting a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act 2018.

If you wish to make a Subject Access Request, please complete the subject access request form which should contain sufficient information to allow reasonable identification of the data required. You will also need to send a copy of photographic identification.

SEPA's Disclosure Log

Our responses to requests for information handled under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 are held within a repository [which can be accessed free of charge at any time].

The repository is updated regularly to ensure that information is widely available as soon as possible after its release.

However, please note that information may not always be added to the repository on the same day that it is supplied to an applicant if the quantity and format of the released information is substantial. 

Some information may have been blanked out from the information available on the repository, where we have had to apply Data Protection principles.

Reviews and appeals

Every request for information, under either the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 or the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, is formally logged as follows:

  • Stage 1 – Request for information
  • Stage 2 – Formal Review
  • Stage 3 – Appeal for decision by the Scottish Information Commissioner (OSIC)

Once your request has been received, you will receive a response to your enquiry along with the requested information and/or an explanation regarding any withheld information. 

If you are not happy with the response (or have not had a response), you have the right to request a formal review from SEPA. Every internal formal review will be fair, reasonable, transparent and proportionate and will have clear terms of reference. 

If you do not agree with the findings of our internal review, you can appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner, who is responsible for enforcing Scotland's freedom of information laws.