The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said 91% of ‘large or complex’ industrial sites in Scotland have passed their annual assessment.

A target of 92% for satisfactory Operator Performance Assessment (OPA) had been set by SEPA.

Waste businesses struggled the most with SEPA pointing out that if they were taken out of the figures the overall assessment rate rises to 94%.

This is also the first full year of operation for a number of sites under their new PPC permit, with a number of operators transferring from Integrated Pollution Control (IPC), Waste Management License (WML).

Of the 405 sites covered by the Pollution Prevention and Control regulations, 369 passed.

Of those not meeting the targets 36 did not get a satisfactory mark and will now face more inspections an audits for the next 12 months.

While, 14 sites did not meet the required standards for a second year in a row, and of these six have not met the standards for three years.

All these sites are subject to various levels of enforcement and, in some cases, where progress to reach these standards has been insufficient – SEPA has referred operators to the procurator fiscal.

Colin Bayes, SEPA’s director of environmental protection and improvement, said despite not making the target the results were ‘encouraging’.

He said: “SEPA is committed to helping operators to meet their environmental responsibilities, we will not shy away from taking appropriate enforcement action in relation to sites which consistently fail to meet our standards.

“We will continue to work hard with the Scottish justice system to promote tougher fines for those contravening their licence conditions.”

Luke Walsh

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