Scottish Environment Protection Agency

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The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is the environmental regulator and policy adviser on environmental issues.


The SEPA Board, whose members are appointed by the First Minister, are responsible for setting the priorities of the agency.


On its website SEPA states that "around half of our funding comes from the Scottish Executive, with the other half charged to operators that we regulate, under the polluter-pays principle." [1]

Downplaying Radioactive Risks

In October 2006 the Sunday Herald in Scotland reported that SEPA "played down the risks of radioactive contamination at a popular coastal resort in Fife following an 11th-hour intervention by government spin doctors." [2] "Internal emails reveal the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) delayed and then altered a news release after it had been described as 'not entirely helpful' by a senior Scottish public relations official." The Sepa release announced a "hazard assessment," which found that radioactive waste dumped decades ago, after the closure of a naval air base, had resulted in 100 radiation hotspots. The area includes "Scotland's largest sailing club and a beach." The intervention by Scottish Executive PR official Neil Trotter resulted in major changes to the release. The original version estimated the likelihood of radioactive exposure to be "around 1 in 900 a year for the whole beach, and around 1 in 90 for the area with the greatest concentration" of waste. The published version merely stated the "likelihood of harm ... is considered to be low." Sepa denied that they had "tone[d] down" the release, saying, "The content of Sepa press releases is decided by Sepa."

Contact Details

SEPA Corporate Office
Erskine Court
Castle Business Park
Phone: 01786 457700
Fax: 01786 446885

External links