Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
In Scotland, anyone planning to carry out engineering works in or near rivers and lochs must make sure the appropriate authorisations are in place with SEPA before work begins. Once authorised it’s important that the rules and licence conditions are followed to avoid a fixed monetary penalty (FMP).
Working in or near rivers and lochs - Know the rules (PDF - 797KB)
Engineering works requiring authorisation from SEPA include:
In recent years there has been great progress in relation to river engineering – there has been better engagement and partnership working between SEPA and water users, land managers and other partners to provide advice, support and guidance. However, unauthorised river engineering and GBR, registration or licence condition breaches remains a regulatory problem that must be tackled.
Because poor engineering adversely impacts in-stream and bankside habitats and species, can cause land loss and increased susceptibility to soil erosion and flooding, reducing the value of adjacent land and/or placing livestock at risk. Further, not complying with the rules creates an un-level playing field and penalises those that do follow the rules. If you’re paying for a registration or licence and complying with the conditions we want you to be confident that others are too.
To help solve the problem SEPA have launched a specific river engineering fixed monetary penalty (FMP) campaign. Those who undertake engineering work without the appropriate authorisation or who breach an authorisation condition could be liable for a £600 FMP.
Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance the environment, and environmental compliance is non-negotiable. SEPA hopes increased awareness of authorisation requirements and the new enforcement measures will help deter non-compliance.
Some of the common condition breaches seen frequently are:
Too much / inappropriate gravel removal
Bad practice dredging
Bad practice culvert installation
Salmon (Credit: Mark Caunt, shutterstock.com)
SEPA is committed to helping land managers and contractors do the right thing and SEPA staff are available to talk through projects to ensure that everyone understands what is required before, during and after any works.
There is a wealth of advice and information available on SEPA’s website, including a range of good practice guides. Further, SEPA’s CAR Practical Guide has been designed to provide clear and practical advice to anyone carrying out an activity covered by the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 (as amended), known as CAR. It helps you determine which level of authorisation you need to apply for, and how to do it, with an entire section on engineering works.
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Read more on the DAERA website
The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics
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