This initiative of the European Sustainable Development Network aims to stimulate, and to increase the visibility of activities and projects that promote sustainable development.
SEPA’s main role is to make sure that the environment and human health are protected, that we use our natural resources and services as sustainably as possible, and to contribute to sustainable economic growth. SEPA implements Scottish,
SEPA was established by the Environment Act 1995 and was initially accountable to the Secretary of State for
Our operational context and priorities are agreed with Scottish Ministers and are set out in a number of documents published and reviewed regularly by the Scottish Government.
Our Corporate Plan for 2012-2017 explains our vision and strategic direction over the next five years, based on achieving four outcomes:
Each year we also publish an Annual Operating Plan providing greater detail about the specific activities we will be carrying out and detailed indicators of how well we are performing.
We will review the Corporate Plan every two years to ensure that we are still focusing on where we can most effectively protect and improve
Based on a sound understanding of environmental trends and priorities along with national and international law and obligations, SEPA’s work aligns with the National Performance Framework and Scottish Government’s objective of sustainable economic growth.
Budget and number of staff
SEPA’s total expenditure for the financial year 2012–2013 is forecasted to be £71.8million (c.€90.48million) (and £3.2million (c.€4.03million) capital costs. We receive c.52% directly from the Scottish Government as grant-in-aid. Around 47% of our income comes from charges paid to us by licence holders; we have a statutory duty that requires us to recover our costs in this way, reflecting the government’s commitment to the ‘polluter pays’ principle. The remaining income (£820,000 (c.€1.03million)) comes from, for example, the UK Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for transfrontier shipment of waste work, and other small sources of income. Further information is provided in our Annual Operating Plan.
SEPA employs around 1140 staff (full time equivalents) in a wide range of occupations and specialisms in 25 offices across
Areas of responsibility
Under various regulations we issue licences and consents to control pollution from, for example, sewage works, waste management facilities, farms, major industrial sites and nuclear facilities. Briefly, SEPA regulates/inspects:
We also implement regulations covering the keeping, use, accumulation and disposal of radioactive substances to ensure that public exposures to ionising radiation do not exceed the 1 millisievert per year dose limit set by international organisations.
SEPA's other responsibilities include:
From 2015 SEPA is also to undertake the role of collecting the replacement for Landfill Tax in
SEPA also works with many other organisations to help protect and improve the environment. We enable business and industry to:
We work in partnership with:
Other functions provide support in communications, education and awareness raising, facilitating public participation, human resources, finance and corporate services.
Organisational structure and governance
SEPA is governed by the Agency Board. The Board is appointed by Scottish Ministers and comprises a chairman and ten members, including the Chief Executive. The Board is responsible for establishing SEPA’s overall strategic direction within the policy and resources framework agreed with Scottish Ministers. It monitors the organisation’s performance, and ensures that SEPA has sound environmental policies and observes high standards of corporate governance.
The Chief Executive reports to the Board and is the Accountable Officer for SEPA. The Agency Management Team is collectively responsible for the operation of the organisation. To see SEPA’s structure as at August 2012 please click on the Top Level Organogram on the Agency Management Team website.
Useful resources that are available on the SEPA website (www.sepa.org.uk) include:
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