Cyber-attack & data theft: Our response & service status

Pollution prevention and control

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The fundamental philosophy behind the regulations is that environmental issues should be addressed in an integrated way in order to achieve the highest level of environmental protection from the largest industrial activities.

Service status

A sophisticated criminal cyber-attack has had a major impact on the way SEPA works. We are working through all the services that we provide to understand what we need to do in the short and longer term to restore services. We are approaching this work with a sense of urgency.

Service status update 10 June 2021: Permitting

What are we able to do now?

Please see below for the services we are now running in relation to:

We are working hard to re-establish the ability to receive, verify and determine applications for authorisations for PPC Part A activities (including for Waste Management activities regulated under PPC) and for Controlled Activities in the Water Environment which are not listed above.  For now we remain unable to undertake this work.

What should you do now?

We are only able to accept applications outlined below; please do not submit any other type of application at this time and check regular updates.

Contact us if you had submitted an application prior to 24 December 2020 and have not yet received an update on your application.

Next update: 18 June 2021

Pollution prevention and control 

The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (PPC 2012)came into force on 7 January 2013 to implement the requirements of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED).

The revisions aim to remove ambiguities and inconsistencies, ensure clearer environmental benefits, promote cost-effectiveness and encourage technological innovation.

This section of our website explains more about the regulations, how to apply for a permit and, if you are an existing permit holder, how to ensure you continue to comply with regulations.

How are the PPC regulations applied?

The PPC regulations apply an integrated environmental approach to the regulation of certain industrial activities.

This means that emissions to air, water (including discharges to sewer) and land, plus a range of other environmental effects, must be considered together.

Operators of installations that fall under the PPC regulations must have a permit in order to operate.  We set permit conditions with the aim of achieving a high level of protection for the environment as a whole. The use of Best Available Techniques (BAT) to prevent and minimise emissions aims to balance the costs to the operator against the benefits to the environment as much as possible.

Permits are considered based on the nature of the activity and whether it is defined as a Part A activity or a Part B activity.

Operators of installations where the highest risk industrial activities are undertaken are required to have a permit under Part A of the regulations. The regulation of PPC Part B activities focuses on control of emissions to air.

Do the regulations apply to me?

Please do not submit any applications at this time and check regular updates. We are not currently able to receive, verify or determine applications for PPC Part A & B. 

Our guidance on the regulations will help you to identify which areas of the regulation apply to your activity when we can receive applications again:

The guide provides information on how the PPC regime operates in Scotland, including:

  • how to find out if you fall under the PPC Regulations;
  • how to make an application;
  • how to vary a permit under PPC;
  • how your applications will be treated;
  • what various terms within the regulations actually mean.

What guidance is available?

Our policies, guidance and application forms page contains a variety of guidance and resources on PPC2012.

In addition, our FAQs contain answers to many commonly-asked questions on PPC.

Contact us

If you require any further information or advice on any aspect of PPC2012, please contact us.