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Civil sanctions - Fixed Monetary Penalties (FMPSs) and Variable Monetary Penalties (VMPs) for reservoir managers

Since January 2019 SEPA has been able to issue Fixed Monetary Penalties (FMPs) of between £300 and £1,000 to reservoir managers.

In addition, SEPA also has the ability to issue Variable Monetary Penalties (VMPs) of up to £40,000 for majority of offences within the legislation.

All offences that SEPA can serve FMPs and VMPs for can be found in Schedule 4 of The Environmental Regulation (Enforcement Measures) (Scotland) Order 2015 (

They include failure to:

  • send in engineer appointment notifications
  • send in new reservoir manager notifications
  • send in ceasing to be reservoir manager notifications
  • send in change to controlled reservoir information notifications including contact details and reservoir specific detail
  • send in notification of relevant works for new and existing reservoirs
  • co-operate with other reservoir managers where there are multiple reservoir managers at one reservoir
  • register a new reservoir
  • appoint a construction engineer
  • keep records of water levels and visual inspections as instructed by a Supervising Engineer
  • comply with direction as to the taking of measures in inspection report
  • comply with an enforcement notice
  • Failure to comply with directions as to the taking of measures in inspection report
  • Failure to comply with enforcement notice

Appointing engineers, carrying out engineer instructions and ensuring that SEPA holds up-to-date reservoir information, including engineer appointments and contact details is a reservoir manager’s statutory duty.

There are some reservoir managers who continue to fail to notify us of changes to reservoir information or fail to carry out what is required of them which results in SEPA’s Reservoirs Team spending significant amounts of time addressing these issues or chasing for this information.

FMPs and VMPs will support SEPA’s enforcement work to ensure reservoir managers of Scotland’s controlled reservoirs are sending in the statutory notifications within the correct timescales, and carrying out their statutory duties, which enables SEPA to have true and correct information on each of the controlled reservoirs and ensure statutory duties are being adhered to.

This is most important in a reservoir emergency where it is crucial that SEPA has the most up-to-date information about a controlled reservoir, including contact details and reservoir specific details.

For further information on SEPA's enforcement powers including FMPs and VMPs please see our enforcement page.