Legislation that aims to simplify regulation that protects our environment and introduces new enforcement and sentencing powers for tackling environmental crime will be scrutinised by the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee.
Speaking as the Committee launches a call for views into the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Bill, Convener Rob Gibson MSP said:
“Protecting our environment is important not only to preserve the diversity of our wildlife but for the thousands of people that enjoy Scotland’s natural beauty along with key sectors of our economy – from farming to tourism.
“This legislation will strengthen enforcement and sentencing powers with the aim of better protecting our environment.
“Our Committee wants to hear a diverse range of views so that we can look at the proposals in detail and make sure they deliver for Scotland’s environment.”
The Committee will focus on Part 2 of the Bill that deals with environmental regulation and is looking for views on the following issues:
- The proposals for regulatory powers for Scottish Ministers in relation to protecting and improving the environment, regulating environmental activities and implementing relevant EU obligations.
- The proposed powers of enforcement for SEPA, including non-compliance penalties, enforcement undertakings and the operation of penalties and cost recoveries.
- The proposed powers to be given to the Courts in connection to compensation orders, consideration of financial benefits when imposing fines and publicity orders.
- The proposals that relate to local authorities in connection with contaminated land, special sites and air quality assessments.
- The proposals to make changes to the general purpose of SEPA to ensure that in carrying out its functions it contributes to the health and well-being of the people of Scotland and achieving sustainable economic growth.
- On the element of part 1, as it relates to the RACCE Committee’s remit, that places a duty on stakeholders in respect of sustainable economic growth.
The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee will be the lead Committee considering the Bill, looking at Parts 1, 3 and 4. RACCE will be the secondary Committee looking at the Parts that reflect their remit. The other parts of the Bill aim to tackle the adverse impact of inconsistently applied regulations by improving the way that they are applied throughout Scotland, whilst also supporting sustainable economic growth.
If you would like to submit evidence, the deadline for receipt of written submissions is Monday 20 May 2013. The Committee prefers to receive written submissions electronically. These should be sent to [email protected].