Pulic consulted over polluter fine plans

A PROPOSAL to fine those who pollute the environment up to £40,000 has been opened up to public scrutiny.

Views are being sought on the Regulatory Reform ­(Scotland) Bill, which includes new ­regulations to protect the ­environment.

The Bill would allow the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) to set variable penalties of up to £40,000 for environmental offences, such as carrying waste without a registration or carrying out engineering works in water without authorisation.

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Offenders could also be liable for legal costs resulting from any action, which are expected to be about £20,000.

Holyrood’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee has launched a call for submissions to aid its scrutiny of the Bill.

Convener Rob Gibson 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.”