THE Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has recovered and published its 2019 environmental compliance data after it was stolen in a cyber attack in December 2020.
The data shows 2019 as the fifth year in a row that environmental compliance among Scottish regulated businesses was above 90% (at 91%), and where more than 75% were rated as ‘Excellent’ (78%).
Jo Green, Acting Chief Executive of SEPA, said: “The environmental compliance of Scottish business really matters, as does the visibility of performance data. That’s why today we’re publishing the latest compliance assessment data recovered following a December 2020 cyber-attack by international serious and organised criminals.
“Whilst draft data was stolen, illegally published on the dark web, and subject to media reporting in October 2021, it’s important we published final data in line with our recovery strategy. Here we’re pleased that for the fifth year in a row, nine out of ten Scottish businesses did the right thing by Scotland’s environment and that over seven out of ten achieved our top billing.
“Reflecting our regulatory approach during the public health pandemic, a regulatory report for 20/21 will be published in 2022 covering regulatory positions, permitting, monitoring, compliance and enforcement. We know the importance of compliance information and, as part of our recovery from COVID-19 and the significant cyber-attack, we’re committed to consulting on a new, publicly accessible compliance assessment approach in 2022. When we do, we’ll consult widely, listening to what’s important to communities, the companies we regulate and all those with an interest in the environmental performance of Scottish business.
“We remain clear that compliance with Scotland’s environmental regulations is non-negotiable, and committed to driving performance and to publicly demonstrating the progress of Scottish business.”
A report on SEPA’s website states that: “In April 2020, SEPA published its regulatory approach to the public health pandemic. The approach outlined the agency’s approach to regulatory positions, permitting, monitoring, compliance and enforcement across the 33 sectors of the economy SEPA regulates.
“Across the pandemic, the Scottish Government designated 13 critical national infrastructure sectors vital to the functioning of society. SEPA committed to supporting that national focus on food security, the provision of clean water and the maintenance of critical infrastructure and the support services on which communities rely.
“Whilst impacted by the pandemic and by the December 2020 cyber-attack, the agency will publish a report of its regulatory work covering 20/21 in 2022.”