The codes have been issued under the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2005. These give SEPA the power to force operators to prevent or control water pollution (ENDS Report 367, p 34 ).
The code provides practical guidance to operators on how to minimise pollution risks. For oil storage, this includes risk assessments of facilities, engineering requirements for tanks, operational controls and emergency procedures.
For quarries, the code describes the potential impacts from different mineral extraction activities and recommends good practice for minimising pollution risks. For instance, excavated waste material is often stockpiled and exposed to the elements. This can cause metals to be released from the rock, which can pollute the ground and surface waters. Measures to prevent this include capping stockpiles with clay.
SEPA advises operators to keep evidence of the code being followed to minimise enforcement action, but warns compliance is no defence in the event of a pollution incident.