Presentation on theme: "Environmental Evaluation – a SEPA Perspective Dr Chris J Spray MBE Director of Environmental Science Glasgow University 13 th September 2007."— Presentation transcript:
Environmental Evaluation – a SEPA Perspective Dr Chris J Spray MBE Director of Environmental Science Glasgow University 13 th September 2007
Outline of Presentation a.Who are SEPA and what do we do? b.How do we use data and statistics? c.Current challenges?
a. Who are SEPA and what do we do? Non-departmental public body set up by Environment Act 1995 Budget of £57m (05/06) 54% from Scottish Executive Grant in Aid 46% from charging schemes 22 offices 1150 staff
SEPAs Corporate Vision To be an excellent environmental regulator and a recognised and influential authority on the environment.
To be an excellent environmental regulator What does it mean? Effective and efficient – fit for purpose Apply regulations in a proportionate, balanced, fair and legally correct way Effective enforcement Responding to complaints/ incidents Base advice and decisions on sound science and monitoring of the environment Promote best practice and influence operator performance Engagement and openness Provide guidance that is both flexible and consistent
To be a recognised and influential authority on the environment What does it mean? Sample, monitor and assess Scotlands environment Provide clear, easy to understand, consistent and accessible information Be credible, visible, effective and efficient Provide expert advice based on sound science and understanding of the environment Build our internal knowledge Influence policy makers Leading to an improved Scottish environment
Authority on the environment State of Scotlands Environment Report Many good news stories Scotland has a fantastic environment! Major challenges – human health, biodiversity, local air quality, waste and resource use, climate change …present major opportunities
How we work: process and drivers Sampling/ monitoring Analysis & verification Interpretation Reporting ExternalInternal State of the environment Drivers for monitoring EU/ legislation What? Why? Where? When? How? Programme
How we work: complexity of science needed in decision making Run off Aqueous discharge Increased streptococci: Strep throat, steptococcal toxic shock syndrome, flesh eating bacteria Increased faecal coliforms: Gastro-intestinal illnesses SOURCE RECEPTOR PATHWAY IMPACT Economic – closing down of beaches, tourism affected, businesses affected. Social – human casualties, loss of recreation. Environmental – ecosystem affected. Issues: % source apportionment, the cost of regulation, carrying capacity, precautionary principle BATHING WATERS
b. How do we use (and abuse!) data and statistics 1.State of the Environment – Monitoring Networks 2.Compliance with regulatory standards – industrial performance 3.Investigations and projects – specific issues 4.KPIs – monitoring and performance 5.Setting Boundaries – WFD targets 6.Reporting on Trends – to EU, to general public, to academia.
1. Monitoring Networks National Environmental Monitoring System (NEMS) Deals with 350,000 determinands per year Programme of planning, monitoring and reporting Deals with compliance, regulation and environmental samples Environmental samples analysed Freshwater Chemistry15,900 Freshwater Biology4,800 Marine Chemistry5,800 Marine Biology1,270 Microbiology4,500
2. Compliance with Regulatory Standards Bathing Beaches Industrial discharge consents Water abstraction Fish Farms
Marine Science in SEPA DEPOMOD OUTPUT for FISH CAGE CONSENTS
Continuous data Measurements Advantages Good Horizontal Resolution. System Can be Undulated to Give Reasonable Horizontal and Vertical Resolution. Can Cover a Large and Representative Area Easily and Efficiently Disadvantages Water Sampling and Electronic Measurements Difficult to Obtain Simultaneously. Accuracy of Measurements Cannot be Confirmed Easily. Cannot Obtain Good Vertical Resolution Generates Large Data Sets Marine Science in SEPA
3. Investigations and Projects Chirnside Papermill - location of the Papermill
ADMS 3.2 (Air Dispersion Modelling System) ADMS 3.2 is a practical air dispersion model which allows a wide range of buoyant and passive releases to the atmosphere to be modelled either individually or in combination. ADMS 3.2 uses an up to date description of the atmospheric boundary layer and can model short time scale fluctuations. This allows ADMS 3.1 to model odours. The effect of buildings, terrain, and coastlines on dispersion can be taken into account. ADMS 3.2 links to other software packages, such as SURFER, for easy and effective display. ADMS 3.2 has been extensively validated against field data sets.
ADMS 3.2 REQUIREMENTS Setup – General site details Source – Stack dimensions and release conditions Meteorology – Weather conditions Grids – Type and size of grid for output data Output – Source averaging times
Results Long Term (annual average) (OUE m-3) odour concentrations from all stacks. 100% tile odour (daily average) (OUE m-3) from all stacks.
Results cont… 100.0% tile odour (15 minute average) (OUE m-3) from all stacks.
Discussion From the results it can be seen that with all stacks operating odour concentrations of 19 OUE can be found immediately south west of the site. Near to Rockcliffe cottage the odour concentrations are around 6-7 OUE Casella Stanger were contracted to carry out an odour survey at the site. They concluded that the six emission points released distinct odour (hedonic tone and intensity) at very low concentrations i.e. below 10 OUE. No monitoring data available to validate the model results apart from odour observations made by residents at Rockcliffe Guesthouse. By linking the odour observations made at Rockcliffe Guesthouse with the findings made by Casella Stanger it was possible to validate the model results.
Conclusions The buildings and terrain do have an effect on the dispersion of the emissions at the site. Building effect and downwash was observed during a site visit. With all stacks operating odour concentrations well in excess of the odour concentration of 1 OUE occurred at the site and at surrounding properties. The predominant wind direction is from the south west with low velocity winds from the north east so maximum odour concentrations occurred to the SW of the site. This modelling study has confirmed that E7 and E6 are the main contributors to the odour nuisance in the area and these stacks are currently in the process of being replaced. These changes have already reduced the odour nuisance surrounding the site. This will bring the site more in line with the EC regulations where odourous emissions must be controlled.
4. KPIs Making sense from too much data Required response to indication trends, infrastructure.
5. Setting Regulatory Boundaries and targets WFD - Standards - Intercallibration across Europe - Intercallibration between different data sets
WFD - the reason for it WFD requires all our water bodies to be of good ecological status by 2015 No water bodies should deteriorate in status Whole process must be based on sound science
For each surface water body; ecological statusHIGH GOOD MODERATE POOR BAD Prevent deterioration Good status Restore WFD Objectives Prevent deterioration Restore GOOD BADGroundwaterstatus
Environmental standards For the first time, we have standards which: - Are agreed at a UK level - Have been widely consulted on with stakeholders - All the standards have been designed to be relevant to ecological health and normative definitions Achievements
Middle of high - proportion sensitive exactly as expected. Proportion sensitive exactly as expected. Ratio Sensitive/Insensitive Macroinvertebrate Taxa 6000+ sites in GB
Zone of overlap of proportions of sensitive and insensitive taxa = GOOD
c. Challenges 2 How to deal with changes in measurements and standards? How to link data sets between organisations? Length of the records and variation over time? How best to deal with trends? How to deal with extremes?
Lossie Hydrograph 1990-2003 How to deal with Extreme Values? Severe Flood Warning Flood Warning
c. Challenges 2 How to deal with changes in measurements and standards? How to link data sets between organisations? Length of the records and variation over time? How best to deal with trends? How to deal with extremes? How to deal with increasing variability and uncertainty?
c. Challenges 2 How to deal with changes in measurements and standards? How to link data sets between organisations? Length of the records and variation over time? How best to deal with trends? How to deal with extremes? How to deal with increasing variability and uncertainty? How to communicate all of this to those we regulate and the public?