Hazardous substances consents for Scotland

Draft regulations to introduce a system of hazardous substances consents (HSCs) in Scotland have been issued for consultation by the Scottish Office.1 The new rules will enable planning authorities to control the storage and use of hazardous substances in excess of prescribed quantities.

The proposed Scottish rules are almost identical to controls which came into force in England and Wales in June (ENDS Report 206, pp 28-29 ). The only differences of any note reflect different planning consent procedures on either side of the border.

Companies will have to apply for an HSC where they intend to hold one or more of 71 substances in more than a specified quantity at a site. Applications will be determined by planning authorities, although in some cases they will not be able to impose conditions going beyond those recommended by the Health and Safety Executive. Transitional arrangements have been made to minimise the impact of the regulations on existing installations.

The consultation period on the draft regulations and an accompanying circular ends on 11 November. The Scottish Office intends to allow about three months between the laying of the regulations before Parliament and their entry into force.

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