Glossary

Some terms used in SPRI may have different meanings in other contexts.

For the purposes of the SPRI, their meaning is as follows:

Operator Return Pollutant release and waste transfer data provided by an operator of a specific installation for a calendar year (e.g. 2004). The return will only be made available to the public when all aspects of the return are agreeable to SEPA.
Biomass

Means non-fossilised and biodegradable organic material originating from plants, animals and micro-organisms, including products, by-products, residues and waste from agriculture, forestry and related industries as well as the non-fossilised and biodegradable organic fractions of industrial and municipal wastes, including gases and liquids recovered from the decomposition of non-fossilised and biodegradable organic material*

*from the COMMISSION DECISION of 18 July 2007 establishing guidelines for the monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions pursuant to Directive 2003/87/EC (EU Emission Trading Scheme)
Reporting Threshold The inventory uses annual reporting thresholds to determine when an operator must report an emission value. Thresholds are set to capture 95% of the UK emissions of a substance from industries that are required to report to the inventory. The thresholds are not related to licence limits. Reporting a value to the SPRI does not indicate that an installation is breaching any licence limits.
Below Reporting Threshold (BRT) An operator reports BRT when a pollutant is emitted below the SPRI reporting threshold but above zero to the environment from an installation. This information helps us to indicate the potential collective environmental impact of a pollutant from several different sources, this is known as diffuse pollution.
IPPC Directive The Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive is a European-wide framework for the regulation of industrial process. The Directive (96/61/EC) came into force on 24 September 1996.
PPC Regulation The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012 SSI No. 360. The legal framework that enacts the European IPPC Directive within Scotland.
Operator The operator is any natural or legal person who controls the sites or who has decisive economic power over the technical functioning of the site. The operator must be specified in the site's regulatory Authorisation.
Registered Owner / Parent Company This is the company is legally and ultimately responsible for the pollutant releases and transfers from a site. This must be a UK registered company listed on the Companies House Register. The Registered owner and address must be specified in the site's regulatory Authorisation.
Authorisation Permit / Licence

The legal entity issued by SEPA authorising the operation of one or more activities listed in a specific regulatory regime:

  • PPC Regulations = Permit
  • Controlled Activities Regulations, Waste Management, Radioactive Substances Act = Licence
Site / Facility / Installation Means one or more stationary technical units operating in a defined geographical area where one or more activities covered under SPRI are carried out. Any other directly associated activities that have a technical connection with the site, which could have an effect on emissions and pollution, are also included.

Return Availability Status Descriptions

Return Availability Meaning
Not Yet Submitted The operator has not yet submitted a return. Depending on the time of year this could be because today’s date is before the reporting deadline, usually end of February of each year, in which cause this is acceptable. If today’s date is after the reporting deadline then the site may have asked for and received an extension to the deadline which is also acceptable. When today’s date is after the reporting deadline and the operator does not have an agreed extension SEPA will consider what enforcement action may be taken against the operator. Penalties for failing to report could ultimately lead to a fine, imprisonment, or both. In rare cases it may be that SEPA is performing maintenance on the SPRI system. Please contact us if you would like specific details for a site where a return is labelled 'Not yet submitted'.
Not Yet Agreed The operator has submitted a return. However, the return has not passed SEPA’s quality assurance procedures. SEPA and the operator will continue to discuss the contents of the return until a resolution is found. The return will only be made available to the public when all aspects of the return are agreeable to SEPA.
Agreed The operator has submitted a return. The return has successfully passed SEPA’s quality assurance procedures. SEPA agree the return adequately represents the releases and transfers from the site. The return will be published and made available to the public through the SPRI website.
Agreed But Under Review The operator has submitted a return. The return initially passed SEPA’s quality assurance procedures. However, a mistake has been identified. The return has been withdrawn and is under review. SEPA and the operator will continue to review the return until a resolution is found. The return will only be made available to the public when all aspects of the return are agreeable to SEPA.