Enforcement policy and enforcement guidance

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Our Enforcement Policy and Guidance were published in June 2016 and underpin our decision-making in relation to enforcement action.

The Lord Advocate’s guidance to SEPA also supports enforcement decision making. It sets out circumstances and criteria for using new enforcement measures and makes it clear when we should be consulting the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service so that prosecution can be considered.

Enforcement measures

New enforcement measures are now available to us:

  • Fixed Monetary Penalties – there are currently four specific areas where these penalties are being considered as an enforcement option:
    • Diffuse pollution priority catchments
    • Landfill data returns
    • Waste segregation
    • Waste carriers

Fixed monetary penalties allow us to issue fines for non-compliance. We will publish details of penalties on our website.

  • Enforcement Undertakings – we can receive offers of such undertakings now. Please read the relevant section of the guidance before submitting your offer (form also available in Word format). These should go beyond simply preventing / restoring harms arising from a breach of environmental legislation (e.g. by offering longer term gains through more sustainable operating practices and by bringing about benefits to communities).

  • Variable Monetary Penalties – a consultation on how we intend to calculate the amount of a VMP is available until 28 November 2016. We want to ensure that our approach will be proportionate and will seek views from our staff and stakeholders. We hope to be in a position to use VMPs early in 2017.

  • VMP Undertakings – this measure will be available on the when VMPs are introduced.

Civil Sanctions - Penalties

We publish penalties for the following climate change regimes on our website:

Published information on our enforcement actions

We publish an Annual Enforcement Report every year.

We have committed to publishing a range of enforcement activities in our Policy for Communicating Penalties and Undertakings.