SEPA consults widely on its policies and decisions and publishes a broad range of information. dealing with more than 40 complex nuclear site authorisations (‘Band A’ under the Radioactive Substances Act 1993), 400 discharges from hospitals and industry (Band B), 800 other radioactive sources (Band C) and undertaking around 900 days of site inspections.
The Board is a nice balance of experience and expertise; having excellent technical qualifications, sound philosophy and international experience. It is a world problem, but what we can practically deal with in SEPA is what affects our climate – the causes of air pollution, carbon dioxide emission and the impact of traffic on air quality. This needs air quality monitoring and pinpointing of all major contributors – that’s not just transport and oil industries, but also fossil fuel burning and industrially generated air-pollution.
Ken Collins, the new Chairman of SEPA selects what he sees as the most critical environmental issues facing Scotland. Industries as varied as semiconductors and whisky have water as an essential ingredient, and for the tourist industry too, which is a very large earner for the country, clean, quality air and water are critical. With his past career as MEP, Collins is an undoubted European urging the need for close relationships with the EC, in order to avoid differing standards across Europe. Scotland, he feels, has a part to play in influencing European legislation. “After 20 years in the EU Parliament, my policy network is well-established and effective,” says Ken. For More Detail: Enact Conveyancing Brisbane
Symbolically, as he takes up the chairmanship of SEPA in October, he, Jim Currie of the EC’s Directorate General DGXI (responsible for the environment) and Scotland’s Environment Minister, Sarah Boyack, are all speaking at the opening of Scotland House in Brussels. “Legislation,” he notes, “is no good unless it is practicable and implementable. Council ministers and MEPs are made aware of what is implementable by organisations like SEPA. People, he feels, need to be educated so that the environment is not “out there” but an essential part of life. Having gone the rounds of schools in his old constituency of Strathclyde.