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The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021

The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021

The aim of the Regulations is to provide a framework to regulate activities which could have an adverse effect on Scotland’s water environment, including abstraction, impoundments, engineering, dredging, surface water drainage, and pollution.

The amendments incorporate the Control of Pollution (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) (Scotland) Regulations 2003 (“SSAFO”) into the Regulations and introduce some new measures, with the aim of protecting the water environment.

 

What are the key amendments to the Regulations?

The key amendments included within the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021 are to the General Binding Rules (GBRs) as follows:

  • GBR18 is amended in respect of a phased move to low emission precision method application of slurries and digestate.
  • 6 new GBRs are introduced:
    • GBR29 consolidates SSAFO rules on the making and storage of silage in bales or bulk bags.
    • GBRs 30 and 33 relate to the treatment of lightly contaminated silage and slurry through a constructed farm wetland.
    • GBRs 31 and 32 relate to consolidation of SSAFO rules on the storage of silage and slurry.
    • GBR34 introduces controls over the storage of liquid digestate, a by-product of the energy production process using anaerobic digestion.

The consolidation of SSAFO provisions into CAR includes the removal of an exemption for silage and slurry stores constructed prior to September 1991.

There are minor revisions to various existing GBRs in the interests of clarity and effectiveness. The changes made to existing activities 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 22, 25, 27, and 28 are mostly to clarify the requirements within the activity.

 

Revocation

The regulations revoke the Control of Pollution (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) (Scotland) Regulations 2003.

 

Key Dates

The Regulations come into force from 01 January 2022

Transitional Periods –

  • The precision application rules in GBR18 have transitional periods of up to 5 years, with splash plates for all but smaller farms banned after 1 year.
  • GBRs 31, 32 and 34 on the storage of silage, slurry and digestate have transitional periods of 2 years for stores currently regulated by SSAFO and 4 years for previously exempt stores.

 

Further Information

The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021 (legislation.gov.uk)

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