The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has launched a consultation on proposed changes to the regulatory charging scheme covering annual licence costs and application fees. The scheme, if approved by Scottish Ministers, is expected to come into effect on 1 April 2016. Scottish Land & Estates has concerns about the level of some of the charges and will be responding to this consultation. The consultation can be found at SEPA’s Consultation page. Contact Anne Gray at Head Office if you wish to feed into our response.
The consultation aims to replace five of the existing charging schemes covering Waste, Pollution Prevention and Control, Radioactive Substances; Water discharges and Water abstractions with a single system of annual charges which prioritise activities with the greatest risk and poorest compliance ratings. The new scheme will also introduce a more equitable package of charges for licence applications and annual subsistence fees, to ensure that the cost of processing applications and annual inspections are recovered.
SEPA Executive Director, Calum MacDonald, said:
“Reform of our charging scheme is an essential part of our approach to Better Environmental Regulation. The proposals for the new scheme are therefore specifically designed to make our charging scheme simpler, more transparent, and reflect more accurately the effort required from SEPA to effectively regulate a broad spectrum of activities.”
The consultation is open to the public until 17 September, 2015, following which it will be submitted to Scottish Ministers prior to the new charges being implemented on a phased basis from April, 2016.