View From The Coast


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Scottish Environmental Regulation of Onshore Activities Related to Oil and Gas Exploitation in the North Sea

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View From The Coast

  1. 1. A View From The Coast – The Scottish Approach To The Regulation Of Onshore Aspects Of Offshore Production Robert Sutherland, Advocate Terra Firma Chambers
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  4. 4. Decommission • 470 offshore oil and gas installations on UK Continental Shelf by 2030 • OSPAR Decision 98/3 – Presumption of removal 4
  5. 5. Structure • Role of EU • The Emissions Directive • Scottish Legislative Framework • Onshore Enforcement and Activity • NORM + NORM Case Study • Decommissioning • Regulatory Reform 5
  6. 6. The Role of the EU • TEU, Article 3(3) “The Union shall establish an internal market. It shall work for the sustainable development of Europe based on balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment and social progress, and a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment. It shall promote scientific and technological advance. It shall combat social exclusion and discrimination, and shall promote social justice and protection, equality between women and men, solidarity between generations and protection of the rights of the child. It shall promote economic, social and territorial cohesion, and solidarity among Member States. It shall respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity, and shall ensure that Europe's cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced.” 6
  7. 7. The Role of the EU • TFEU, Article 191(2) “Union policy on the environment shall aim at a high level of protection taking into account the diversity of situations in the various regions of the Union. It shall be based on the precautionary principle and on the principles that preventive action should be taken, that environmental damage should as a priority be rectified at source and that the polluter should pay”. • TFEU Article 193 “The protective measures adopted pursuant to Article 192 shall not prevent any Member State from maintaining or introducing more stringent protective measures. Such measures must be compatible with the Treaties. They shall be notified to the Commission”. 7
  8. 8. The Role of the EU • Environmental Impact Assessment Directive 85/337/EC • Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive 2001/42/EC • Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU • Air Quality Directive 2008/50/EC; • Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC • Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56/EC • Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC • Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC • Wild Birds Directive 2009/147/EC • Seveso II Directive 96/82/EC • Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulations 1907/2006/EC • Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulations 1272/2008/EC 8
  9. 9. Industrial Emissions Directive • Article 1 • “to lay down rules on integrated prevention and control of pollution arising from industrial activities, and to lay down rules designed to prevent or, where that is not practicable, to reduce emissions into air, water and land and to prevent the generation of waste, in order to achieve a high level of protection of the environment taken as a whole” • Chapter II covers industrial activities with major pollution potential 9
  10. 10. Industrial Emissions Directive • Permits must provide for: • emission limit values for pollutants • rules guaranteeing protection of soil, water and air • waste monitoring and management measures • emission measurement methodology, frequency and evaluation procedure • obligation to inform monitoring results at least annually • maintenance and surveillance of soil and groundwater • measures relating to exceptional circumstances (leaks, malfunctions, momentary or definitive stoppages, etc.) • minimisation of long-distance or transboundary pollution • assessment of compliance with emission limit values 10
  11. 11. Industrial Emissions Directive • Article 8 – breach of permit conditions - Member States shall ensure that: a) operator immediately informs the competent authority b) operator immediately takes measures necessary to ensure compliance restored within shortest possible time c) competent authority requires operator to take any appropriate complementary measures considered necessary to restore compliance d) where breach of permit conditions poses an immediate danger to human health or threatens to cause an immediate significant adverse effect upon the environment, and until compliance is restored, operation is suspended 11
  12. 12. Industrial Emissions Directive Activities operated according to 8 principles: •all appropriate preventive measures taken against pollution •best available techniques applied •no significant pollution caused •generation of waste prevented 12
  13. 13. Industrial Emissions Directive • waste to be prepared for re-use, recycled, recovered or, where that is technically and economically impossible, it is disposed of while avoiding or reducing any impact on environment • energy to be used efficiently • necessary measures taken to prevent accidents and limit their consequences; • necessary measures taken upon definitive cessation of activities to avoid any risk of pollution and return site to satisfactory state 13
  14. 14. Industrial Emissions Directive • Inspection • Access to information • Public participation in permitting process • Access to review procedure before a court – Fair – Equitable – Timely – Not prohibitively expensive 14
  15. 15. Legislative Framework of Environmental Law in Scotland • Scotland Act 1998, ss 29, 30 & Sched 5 • Environmental Protection Act 1990 • Environment Act 1995 15
  16. 16. Onshore Regulatory Enforcement • Pollution Prevention and Control • Water • issuing authorisations, licences and consents for emissions, discharges and disposal to air, water and land • monitoring compliance and enforcement, including prosecutions under Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations and the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 16
  17. 17. Onshore Regulatory Enforcement • Waste • waste management licensing, including registration of carriers and regulating movement • production of technical guidance on waste management • provide site-specific advice to local authorities on contaminated land • regulation of special waste contamination (including cost recovery powers) • implementing National Waste Strategy 17
  18. 18. Onshore Regulatory Enforcement • Radioactivity • regulation of radioactive waste • radioactive waste disposal • radioactive contaminated land 18
  19. 19. Onshore Regulatory Enforcement • Other Matters • advice and guidance on best environmental practice • inspection of business and industrial as Competent Authority (CA) in conjunction with Health & Safety Executive (HSE) under Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 (COMAH) • regulator for carbon capture and storage • consultee in the planning system • Scottish Natural Heritage 19
  20. 20. Onshore Regulatory Enforcement • Local authorities • Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 • Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 • noise control, statutory nuisances, and air quality • control of hazardous substances • duty to inspect area to identify contaminated land and to designate special sites; enforcing authority for non-special sites to secure remediation; duty to maintain public registers of contaminated land; cost recovery powers 20
  21. 21. Onshore Regulatory Enforcement • Waste Framework Directive Article 4(1) – waste hierarchy shall apply as a priority order in waste prevention and management legislation and policy: –prevention –preparing for re-use –recycling –other recovery, e.g. energy recovery –disposal • EPA 1990, s 34(1) 21
  22. 22. NORM • Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material • Scale • 50 – 100 tons / year onshore 22
  23. 23. Aberdeen Beach Picture source: Prof. S.Haszeldine, University of Edinburgh ( and Google Earth 23
  24. 24. NORM Waste Case Study • 1996 - certificate of authorisation • 2001 – review of authorisation • March 2003 – report of radioactive contamination of beach • November 2006 – Notice of Variation • 2008 – appeal hearing and recommendations • contrary to statute, policy and internationally accepted best practice; not Best Practical Means • 3 years to develop alternative means of disposal 24
  25. 25. Decommissioning • 97% of recovered material re-used or recycled • Miller Field – discovery 1982 – exploitation 1992 - 2007 • Miller Decommissioning Programme – decommissioning activities 2007 – 2019? – £300m 25
  26. 26. Environmental Regulatory Reform • Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Bill - EEPA 1995 “20A (1) SEPA is to carry out the functions conferred on it by or under this Act or any other enactment for the purpose of protecting and improving the environment (including managing natural resources in a sustainable way). (2) In carrying out its functions for that purpose SEPA must, except to the extent that it would be inconsistent with subsection (1) to do so, contribute to — (a) improving the health and well being of people in Scotland, and (b) achieving sustainable economic growth.” 26
  27. 27. Environmental Regulatory Reform • General Binding Rules • Authorisation • Notification • Registration • Permit • Standard Rules for Basic Permit Conditions 27
  28. 28. Environmental Regulatory Reform • Fixed Monetary Penalty – maximum of £2,500 • Variable Monetary Penalty – maximum of £40,000 – option to give an undertaking offering restoration – power to recover the costs of investigation, of administration and of obtaining expert advice (including legal advice) 28
  29. 29. Environmental Regulatory Reform • right to make representations • early payment discounts and late payment penalties • enforced as if civil debt • right of appeal (although where to is not specified 29
  30. 30. Environmental Regulatory Reform • Compensation order up to £50,000 – court to have regard to any financial benefit accrued • Publicity order 30
  31. 31. Environmental Regulatory Reform • Vicarious liability for companies, partnerships and limited liability partnerships – where an offence has been committed by an employee or agent – the employer or principal either knew about it or ought to have known about it, – not take reasonable precautions and exercise due diligence to prevent offence occurring 31
  32. 32. Environmental Regulatory Reform • strict liability criminal offence of causing or permitting significant environmental harm – fine up to £40,000 and/or 1 year imprisonment on summary indictment (a sheriff or judge) – unlimited fine and/or 5 years imprisonment on solemn indictment (sheriff or judge, and jury) • Remediation orders – remediate or mitigate significant environmental harm 32
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  34. 34. Environmental Regulatory Reform •Better environmental protection •Consistent national approach •Better upfront guidance •More long-term certainty and transparency 34
  35. 35. A View From The Coast – The Scottish Approach To The Regulation Of Onshore Aspects Of Offshore Production Robert Sutherland, Advocate Terra Firma Chambers