On 12 May 2022, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) published its annual operating plan, which set out priorities for regulation, climate resilience and recovery and the budget available to deliver their work across the 2022 to 2023 period. The report also set clear performance measures for delivery.
The plan supports Scotland’s transition to net-zero and continued adaption to a post-EU policy environment, while prioritising regulatory focus on permitting, compliance checking, tackling non-compliance and illegal activities, environmental monitoring and beyond compliance opportunities.
In climate resilience, the plan focused on helping Scotland avoid the risk of flooding, protect existing communities and businesses from the effects of climate change, and warn if flooding is imminent, so action can be taken to reduce the impact.
The plan also supports Scotland's recovery and supports SEPA’s recovery in building back better, supporting staff, developing new systems, including progressive working practices and committing to become a regenerative organisation by 2030.
The launch of SEPA’s plan reflects the realism of recovery from the COVID pandemic, a serious and significant criminal cyber-attack and a change of leadership within the organisation. Throughout these challenges, the agency has continued to prioritise public service delivery around its two core services of environmental regulation and flooding.
SEPA is moving regulation from individual sites to a sectoral approach in supporting this aim and to help as many businesses as possible achieve the environmental, economic and social benefits that come from voluntarily moving beyond compliance and adopting more sustainable business practices.
Source: SEPA, 12 May 2022