Skip to main content
  • Service status

Service status

We’ve published Our response and recovery from a major cyber-attack, and a range of voluntary independent audit reports on our response and recovery from Police Scotland, the Scottish Business Resilience Centre and Azets. You can view these reports on our cyber-attack page.

We will continue to publish a regular service status until all our services have resumed, continuing to support our organisation, our staff, our public and private partners, and the communities who reply on our services, as we continue our recovery.

Next update 7 June 2024

Protecting communities and businesses at risk from flooding

Flood forecasting and warning

What are we able to do now?

  • Essential flood forecasting and warning services are operational.
  • We are able to issue alerts and warnings direct to communities via Floodline.
  • We are able to issue our daily flood guidance statement to civil contingency responders and other partners.

What should you do now?

Floodline provides live flooding information and advice on how to prepare for or cope with the impacts of flooding 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sign up and get notified when the area you live, work or travel through is at risk of flooding online or contact us on 0345 988 1188

Rainfall and river levels data

What are we able to do now?

SEPA's Water Levels and Rainfall data web pages are now live:

We have also launched a new service which allows users to access rainfall and river level data via API calls, guidance on this service and how to access it

What should you do now?

Any service disruption will be communicated via a banner on the impacted site.

Flood maps

What are we able to do now?

Flood maps for your area remain available.

What should you do now?

Check flood maps for your area

Flood Risk Management

What are we able to do now?

We’re continuing to work with Scottish Government, Scottish Water and local authorities to coordinate and concentrate efforts to tackle flood risk.

We have published Scotland’s 6 year flood risk management plans in January 2022. The plans continue to build on the risk-based, plan-led approach established under the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 and have been prepared in collaboration with all 32 local authorities, Scottish Water and other organisations with a responsibility or interest in managing flooding. They have also been shaped in consultation with the public. View the Flood Risk Management Plans (FRM)

Land use planning advice for flood risk is covered in the land use planning section under regulation.

What should you do now?

Contact us noting there will be a delay in response.

Regulation

Permitting

What are we able to do now?

Please see information below for the services we are running in relation to:

  • Private sewage treatment systems (septic tanks/package treatment plants)
  • Marine and freshwater pen fish farm authorisations
  • Other CAR authorisations (water engineering, water resources, point source discharges, construction site licenses/run-off permits)
  • Simple waste management exemptions
  • Complex waste management exemptions
  • Waste management licences under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Waste Management (Scotland) Regulations 2011
  • Waste carrier licences
  • Special waste consignment notes
  • PPC Part A and PPC B authorisations
  • Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations (EASR) and the Radioactive Substances Act 1993
  • Trans-frontier shipment of waste
  • Emissions Trading Scheme

What should you do now?

For all listed services, we are able to accept pre-application proposals, new applications, variations, transfers and surrenders.

Public Register

What are we able to do now?

Please visit our Public Register page to see what information is currently accessible online and how to access other Public Register information. We are committed to making more of our information publicly available and are progressively publishing online.

What should you do now?

Use the links on our Public Register page to access on-line Public register information, or otherwise use the relevant contact shown on the webpage to request Public Register information.

Private Sewage Systems (Septic Tanks / Package Treatment Plants)

What are we able to do now?

We have established an online service to allow registration of existing private sewage treatment systems/septic tanks that meet the criteria set out below.

We can also accept applications to register those that are less than two years old or serve up to nine properties.

What should you do now?

You can register your system online if the system:

  • is more than two years old; and
  • serves up to nine properties.

Alternatively, submit an application via our Registry mailbox if the system:

  • is less than two years old; or
  • serves more than nine properties.

Please email application forms, along with supporting information, to registry@sepa.org.uk

Marine and Freshwater Pen Fish Farm authorisations

What are we able to do now?

We are able to accept pre-application proposals, new applications, variations, transfers and surrenders.

What should you do now?

Where possible, please work with your SEPA Company Relationship Manager and relevant trade body to bring forward the most business critical applications and pre-application proposals. SEPA will prioritise work based on business need, environmental risk and complexity.

Email application forms along with supporting information to registry@sepa.org.uk

Email pre-application proposal and supporting information to aquaculture.pre-app@sepa.org.uk

Other CAR authorisations (water engineering, water resources, point source discharge, construction site licenses / run-off permits)

What are we able to do now?

We are able to accept pre-application proposals, new applications, variations, transfers and surrenders.

We would strongly encourage pre-application enquiries prior to submitting applications.

What should you do now?

Email application forms along with supporting information to registry@sepa.org.uk

Submit enquiries about General Binding Rules, existing authorised sites and maintenance via our online form.

Email pre-application proposals and supporting information to waterpermitting@sepa.org.uk

Simple waste management exemptions

What are we able to do now?

We are able to accept online registrations for simple waste management exemptions.

What should you do now?

You can register your simple exempt waste activity online

You'll need the following information:

  • the name and address of the legal entity registering the exemption;
  • the location of the activity.

If you have this information it should take no longer than five minutes to complete.

There's no fee for this registration.

If you have any queries please email registry@sepa.org.uk  

Complex waste management exemptions

What are we able to do now?

We are able to accept applications to register new exempt activities and to renew existing registrations.

What should you do now?

Email application forms along with any supporting information to registry@sepa.org.uk

Waste management licenses under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Waste Management (Scotland) Regulations 2011

What are we able to do now?

We are able to accept pre-application proposals, new applications, variations, transfers and surrenders for waste management activities regulated under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Waste Management (Scotland) Regulations 2011.

What should you do now?

Email application forms along with supporting information to registry@sepa.org.uk

Email pre-application proposal and supporting information to wastepermitting@sepa.org.uk

Carriers and Brokers of Controlled Waste - Registrations

What are we able to do now?

We can accept applications to register as a carrier and / or broker of controlled waste or renew an existing registration.

We’ve re-established an online service that will issue an email with your registration certificate embedded in it together with an attached PDF. You should receive this within 24 hours of applying.

Applications can also be made by downloading a form and submitting this by email to SEPA. This method of application takes longer.

At present we cannot issue copy cards for waste carriers or brokers.

Our Register of carriers and brokers is available on our website.

What should you do now?

For businesses wanting to register for the first time, or renew an existing registration, you can use our online service.

For businesses not wishing to use the online system, you can register or renew an existing registration by downloading a form from our Application Forms web page and submitting this by email.

Special Waste Consignment Notes

What are we able to do now?

It remains important to maintain compliant hazardous waste management.

SEPA is now accepting electronic special waste consignment note returns (SWCNs) by email.

We remain unable to sell pre-coded printed notes or receive paper notes by post due to the reduced use of SEPA offices. However, codes must still be purchased directly from SEPA at swcnorder@sepa.org.uk or via our website.

What should you do now?

SEPA has introduced an Excel version of the SWCN which is available on our website, alongside an updated PDF version, and has published updated Guidance on consigning special waste to reflect these changes.

All formats of SWCNs must bear a unique code, supplied by SEPA, consisting of two letters (prefixes) SA, SB, or SC and a series of numbers, for example SA 1234567. SA and SB codes can be purchased online using card payment: Choose Payment Group, Web Consignment Numbers, choose SA or SB type and your card payment choice, numbers and receipt will be emailed to use straight away.

If you require SA, SB to be paid via BAC's payment on account or SC codes for extended carrier rounds or landings of offshore waste, please email swcnorder@sepa.org.uk

PLEASE NOTE

Payment for SWCNs

For Customers using online payment method we will confirm the numbers at the time of purchase. If your transaction is timed out, receipt cannot be issued till next working day.

For payments by BACs on account we will only check a payment is made once at the end of the day. This may mean you will not receive your SWCNs until up to 2 working days after the payment has been made. If you need the numbers sooner then use the online payment system.

To Return Completed Electronic Copies of SWCN notes, please submit to swcnreturns@sepa.org.uk

We are asking that only electronic copies of SWCN notes from 8 June 2022 onwards be submitted. Companies must retain a copy of any SWCN’s used between 1 January 2021 and 7 June 2022 and be ready to make these available to SEPA on request.

PPC Part A and Part B Authorisations

What are we able to do now?

We are able to accept pre-application proposals, new applications, variations, transfers and surrenders.

What should you do now?

Email application forms along with supporting information to registry@sepa.org.uk

If the size of your email submission is over 15MB please contact Registry for advice.

Email pre-application proposal and supporting information to mailto:ppcpermitting@sepa.org.uk

Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018 (EASR18) / Radioactive Substances Act 1993 (RSA93)

What are we able to do now?

We can accept:

  • applications for an EASR18 or RSA93 permit (please view our contact information);
  • online notifications EASR18 for orphan source or managed radioactive substances (only IAEA category 5 that: exceed 200 kBq; tritium sources exceeding 20 GBq; and electrodeposited source. Radioactive substances in IAEA category 4 and above require a permit).

What should you do now?

If you have made or wish to make an application for a permit under EASR18 or RSA93 please view our contact information. There is a fee associated with this service.

If you wish to make an online notification, you can use our online notification service for:

  • managed radioactive substances;
  • orphan source radioactive substances.

There is no fee associated with this service and it should take just a few minutes to complete.

Trans-frontier shipments of waste

What are we able to do now?

We have capability to receive, verify and approve applications for the export or import of wastes. Normal service levels have been re-established with one exception - currently we can only accept electronic notifications.

SEPA continues to receive TFS notification applications electronically. Applications should be submitted via the IWS online system and transfrontier@sepa.org.uk

Imports of sealed radioactive sources to the UK from the EU still need a prior written declaration to be made before shipments can take place.

What should you do now?

Applicants can contact the team directly on transfrontier@sepa.org.uk to notify SEPA of urgent applications. In all cases, please ensure that you submit applications at the earliest opportunity to allow sufficient time for the application to be properly considered and processed.

For radioactive sources, please complete the form Shipping radioactive sources between the UK and EU - GOV.UK and then contact us (Please do not use the previous RSA Notification mailbox).

Emissions Trading Scheme

What are we able to do now?

We have restored access to ETSWAP and have resumed a broadly normal service.

Contact us at mailto:emission.trading@sepa.org.uk if you wish to discuss any regulatory query.

What should you do now?

Do continue to comply with the requirements of your permit or emissions monitoring plan.

We have completed work to vary the conditions of permits to reflect the recently introduced legislative requirements relating to free allocation. As such, operators can now initiate their own variations and are advised to make any changes that have been raised previously in notifications.

The new Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme charging scheme

Please refer to the service status update on payment of applications and subsistence fees for more detail on how payments can be made at this time.

Installation Operators must submit a verified Activity Level Report by 30 June 2021. To facilitate this, SEPA will return your recently submitted Annual Emissions Report and reopen the submission workflow on ETSWAP. You will then be able to attach your verified Activity Level Report and verification report and submit them to SEPA. We are planning on returning your AER from 1 May, however if you require your workflow opened sooner then please contact us.

Sign up for UK ETS updates

The UK Emissions Trading Scheme Authority, comprised of the four governments of the UK, is launching a new service for stakeholders who want to receive direct updates on the UK ETS.

Subscribers will receive notifications about the scheme, including UK ETS Authority guidance and templates, legislation, policy and consultations.

Pollution reporting & environmental incident response

What are we able to do now?

We are able to receive reports of environmental events or pollution. We will respond to these reports based on risk to the environment and in the interests of local communities.

Due to the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions our staff are undertaking a larger number of field deployments. Where appropriate to do so, we will deal with reports of pollution remotely.

What should you do now?

Report environmental events online or contact our 24 Hour Pollution Hotline on 0800 807 060

Flytipping

What are we able to do now?

In line with the forthcoming national litter strategy and user research led by Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS), the ways to report fly-tipping have changed. Since 1 April 2023, the Dumb Dumpers telephone line run by SEPA's Contact Centre (0300 777 2292), no longer accepts fly-tipping reports and anyone who calls that number will hear a recorded message asking them to contact the relevant local authority.

What should you do now?

Fly-tipping incidents should now be reported directly to the local authority. You can find out how to do this on the UK Government website.

Advice to Scottish businesses

What are we able to do now?

Information and advice for regulated sectors remains available through our sector plans and COVID-19 and EU Exit Regulatory Approach hubs.

The VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards promotes, rewards, and recognises environmental best practice.

Information and advice for small and medium-sized enterprises remains available through our NetRegs hub. Other than pollution incidents, we have very limited capability to assess and respond to non-urgent enquiries.

What should you do now?

Email vibes@sepa.org.uk for more information about our Awards' scheme. VIBES good practice case studies can be found online

If you require support contact us noting there may be a delay in response.

Reservoir incidents

What are we able to do now?

We continue to be able to respond to reservoir incidents. Flood risk maps continue to be available to emergency responders via resilience direct.

What should you do now?

If there is a reservoir incident, please contact our 24 Hour Pollution Hotline on 0800 807 060

Reservoir regulations - Reservoirs (Scotland) Act 2011

What are we able to do now?

We are able to receive, verify and process engineers’ certificates, reports, statements and appointments. These documents and notifications should be sent to SEPA at reservoirs@sepa.org.uk

We are also able to receive notifications if there is a change of reservoir manager. Forms for providing these notifications can be found on SEPA’s reservoir webpages and should be sent to reservoirs@sepa.org.uk

If you are a reservoir manager and have changed any contact information, such as postal/email address or phone numbers we are able to receive notifications of these changes. Forms for notifying us of these changes can be found on SEPA’s reservoir webpages and should be sent to reservoirs@sepa.org.uk

We are able to receive, verify and process new reservoir registrations. Please use the registration document on SEPA’s reservoir webpages and once completed email it to reservoirs@sepa.org.uk.

If you have any queries regarding the registration process, please contact SEPA’s Reservoir Regulatory Unit at reservoirs@sepa.org.uk.

What should you do now?

Comply with the legislation. Guidance on this can be found on SEPA’s reservoir webpages.

The on-line Controlled Reservoirs Register contains key information about each registered reservoir including reservoir manager details, panel engineers associated with the reservoir and an inundation map highlighting the area of land that is likely to be flooded in the event of an uncontrolled release of water.

Additionally, the following public register information is available on request:

  • Safety reports and other associated documentation.
  • Inspection reports and other associated documentation.
  • Written recommendations/statements by a supervising engineer.

Please send your enquiry to reservoirs@sepa.org.uk providing the RES/R number, reservoir name and details of the information you require.

If there is an emergency at your reservoir then please contact our 24 Hour Pollution Hotline: 0800 807 060.

You can contact us, noting that we have very limited capacity to assess and respond to non-urgent enquiries.

Land use planning, contaminated land, electricity act, forestry and similar consultations

What are we able to do now?

All planning authorities and other consulting bodies have been contacted and ongoing liaison established to triage and prioritise casework.

Liaison with planning authorities and other consulting bodies will remain the main communication route for advice.

Revised guidance and Standing Advice is now available.

Our Contaminated Land staff are continuing to liaise directly with local authority contaminated land officers on priorities and timescales. If you need to contact SEPA directly please do so by email at contaminated.land@sepa.org.uk

What should you do now?

If you need further guidance or to contact one of our regional planning teams, please visit our planning page on our website.

Scottish Landfill Tax

What are we able to do now?

SEPA Scottish Landfill Tax staff have access to Revenue Scotland systems and are contactable through the email address below. We are carrying out our delegated functions with respect to Landfill Tax and providing the same level of service as we were prior to the cyber-attack.

What should you do now?

If you have any Scottish Landfill Tax enquiries please contact us at SLFT@revenue.scot

Scottish Landfill Communities Fund

What are we able to do now?

We are able to receive and process all SLCF notifications from Approved Bodies and Landfill Operators. Notification documents and guidance has been issued to all Approved Bodies. We are available to answer any queries on the SLCF please contact us.

What should you do now?

Prospective Projects should:

If you are looking for funding, please check our Project Eligibility Quiz. Answer the questions to see if your project meets the minimum standards for SLCF funding.

If you need to know if your project site is within 10 miles of a Landfill or Waste Transfer Station (part of the eligibility criteria), please check our Project Screening Tool (Vicinity checker).

If you need to know who to apply to for funding, check our list of Bodies Approved to Distribute SLCF Funding.

Approved Bodies should:

  • Continue to operate as normal; receiving, assessing and enrolling applications for funding.
  • Submit notifications to SEPA on the Notification Workbook and at the frequency advised by SEPA.
  • Continue to use the Project Screening Tool (Vicinity Checker) as required.

If you require support, please contact us.

Data returns

What are we able to do now?

Many environmental licences include a requirement to submit data returns or other reporting requirements on an annual or quarterly basis.

What should you do now?

We are actively reviewing many of the data returns and kindly request you to submit any outstanding returns for the following areas:

Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory (SPRI):

SPRI returns for the 2023 calendar year are due by 28 February 2024.

To streamline the return process, we will be dispatching the SPRI return forms at the beginning of January. Each site will receive an Excel form tailored to its requirements. These forms must be completed and returned via email to SPRI.Administration@sepa.org.uk no later than 28 February 2024.

Please inform us promptly of any changes to your contact information to facilitate smooth communication during the return process.

If a return is not received by the due date, we will look for a suitable alternative and may contact you by phone or letter to request more information.

Waste Data Flow (WDF):

The WDF data submissions and SEPA data validation tool are not impacted and operating as usual. Please submit your data as usual. Please send any queries to wastedata.flow@sepa.org.uk

Licensed Site Returns (waste) and Material Recovery Facility Code of Practice Returns:

Please submit any outstanding returns to waste.data@sepa.org.uk as soon as possible. Submitted returns should be representative of the same reporting periods as stated in your licence or permit, data should not be consolidated in one single return. Following this, please revert to the standard reporting schedule. Additional detail, reporting guidance, and current reporting forms are available on our website.

Waste Exemptions (waste):

Please submit any outstanding returns to waste.data@sepa.org.uk as soon as possible.

Producer Responsibility (PR):

For businesses who are required to submit Producer Responsibility (PR) data, please continue to use the relevant UK system to submit your data. SEPA is also able to receive data submissions via the Producer.Responsibility@sepa.org.uk mailbox.

Water resources abstractions:

Please submit any outstanding returns to WRDataReturns@sepa.org.uk as soon as possible.

Marine and Freshwater Pen Fish Farms

We are able to accept data returns and notifications. Permit holders will be contacted individually to request submission, SEPA will provide the appropriate templates.

Other returns not mentioned above:

For any other returns required by your SEPA licence and not covered above, in most cases we are able to receive these and are proactively contacting licence holders to request submission. In the interim, if you wish to submit a licence return not covered above, please contact us for advice on the most appropriate means of submission.

For the avoidance of doubt, you should continue to report any environmental incidents as required by your SEPA permit by contacting our 24 Hour Pollution Hotline on 0800 807 060

Our organisation

Data theft - supporting our partners

What are we able to do now?

On 24 December 2020, we were subject to a serious and complex cyber-attack which significantly impacted our organisation, our staff, our public and private partners, and the communities who rely on our services. 

Since the attack, we have worked with Scottish Government, Police Scotland, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC), to a clear recovery strategy.

Find out information about the cyber-attack

What should you do now?

If you require any further information please contact us.

Payment of application fees, subsistence fees and outstanding invoices

What are we able to do now?

Our finance services are back to normal, though when we send send out invoices, reminders and statements we do experience a lot of queries which we will work through.

What should you do now?

Please ensure whenever you make any payment to SEPA you use the invoice reference, permit or account number to reference the BACs payment (otherwise we may not be able to allocate the payment correctly).

We can accept BACs or online card payments. In all cases please reference the invoice number and / or customer account number with the payment. Make an online card payment to SEPA.

Our bank details are on the invoice if you are making payment for an application you may wish to contact us by email invoices@sepa.org.uk.

If you have any queries associated with recent statement runs or invoices use the email invoices@sepa.org.uk

Our charging website has further information and this is the best place to go if you have a specific query - there is a specific section on FAQs.

If you have a query about temporary cessation then look at the web page (at the bottom) Application to waive annual charges or contact rgs@sepa.org.uk.

Supplier enquiries

What are we able to do now?

The majority of our contracts and supplier payments are operating normally.

What should you do now?

Please visit the how we work page for information on doing business with SEPA.

Recruitment enquiries

What are we able to do now?

We have the ability to recruit to posts across the business.

What should you do now?

You can find our vacancies on our jobs page with further details of how to apply.

Access to information enquiries

What are we able to do now?

We can receive requests for information and are working to answer them within the statutory deadlines.

We continue to keep the Scottish Information Commissioner updated. In relation to systematic issues arising out of the 24 December 2020 cyber-attack, the Commissioner is working with us to assist in rebuilding our Access to Information capacity, by way of a Level 2 Intervention under his Intervention Procedures. 

What should you do now?

For the latest information on our services and links to previously published information, please see Access to Information.

If you need to contact us, you can email foi@sepa.org.uk.

Email communication systems

What are we able to do now?

Our email systems are up and running. However, some other information systems are not yet available. Staff will have a significant volume of information and emails to manage against the backdrop of continued limitations due to the impacts of the cyber-attack and COVID-19.

What should you do now?

We’re working hard to clear our backlog of emails, but it will take us time. If you have not progressed your enquiry via another route in the interim, please keep checking this Service Status update which includes information on the services we are currently able to deliver.

Mail

What are we able to do now?

We are able to receive and process mail at all SEPA offices.

What should you do now?

If you require support, please contact us.

Customer service complaints

What are we able to do now?

We are able to receive customer service complaints and handle them in accordance with SEPA's Complaints Handling Procedure.

What should you do now?

Read the information on SEPA’s Complaints Handling Procedure to find out more about the process.

To contact us regarding a customer service complaint use the web enquiry form or by telephone via the customer service general enquiries number 03000 996 699.

When completing the form, tell us:

  • your full name, address and a contact telephone number;
  • as much as you can about the complaint;
  • what has gone wrong;
  • how you want us to resolve the matter.