This content is exclusively provided by FAO / FAOLEX

Environment Act 1995 (Chapter 25).

Type of law
Date of original text


The Act consists of 125 sections divided into 5 Parts: The Environment Agency and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (I); Contaminated Land and Abandoned Mines (II); National Parks (III); Air Quality (IV); Miscellaneous, General and Supplemental Provisions (V).
The Environment Agency and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency are established as a body corporate. The Environment Agency shall inherit functions of the various environment protection authorities including the National Rivers Authority and the London waste Authority, both abolished by this Act. (sect. 2). Principal aim and objectives of the Agency are set out in section 4. Functions of the Agency with respect to pollution control, water, the environment in general and incidental functions are described in sections 5 to 10. Various national, regional advisory committees, local fisheries advisory committees, regional and local flood defence committees shall be established. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) shall inherit all the functions of river purification authorities, waste regulation authorities, and other environmental management authorities for Scotland (sect. 21). Other functions of SEPA with respect to drainage and flood management are set out in sections 24 and 25. General powers and duties of SEPA are set out in sections 31 and following. Part II concerns identification of contaminated land by local authorities and remediation of such land by enforcing authorities. Every enforcing authority shall maintain a register. Part III amends National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 with respect to purposes of national parks, prescribes a duty of certain bodies and persons to have regard to the purposes for which National Parks are designated, provides for establishment of national parks authorities and prescribes their general purposes, functions and powers. Every National Park authority shall, within three years after its operational date, prepare and publish a National Park Management Plan (sect. 66). Part V provides for matters of miscellaneous nature such as a National waste strategy (sect. 92), mineral planning permissions (sect. 96), drainage (sects. 100 and 101), powers of local fisheries committees with respect to sea fisheries and the conservation of the marine environment fisheries by-laws and offences (sects. 102 to 104), etc. (completed by 24 Schedules)
Chemicals and Waste
Long title of text
An Act to provide for the establishment of a body corporate to be known as the Environment Agency and a body corporate to be known as the Scottish Environment Protection Agency; to provide for the transfer of functions, property, rights and liabilities to those bodies and for the conferring of other functions on them; to make provision with respect to contaminated land and abandoned mines; to make further provision in relation to National Parks; to make further provision for the control of pollution, the conservation of natural resources and the conservation or enhancement of the environment; to make provision for imposing obligations on certain persons in respect of certain products or materials; to make provision in relation to fisheries; to make provision for certain enactments to bind the Crown; to make provision with respect to the application of certain enactments in relation to the Isles of Scilly; and for connected purposes.
Date of consolidation/reprint
Entry into force notes
Please see section 125. Section 120(1) of the Environment Act 1995 shall come into force for Scotland on 1 April 2003 in so far as it relates to the following provisions of Schedule 22:(a) paragraphs 29(21) and (22) (in so far as those provisions are not already in force); and (b) paragraph 88 for the purposes only of the landfill (Scotland) Regulations 2003.
Amends also the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act 1966, the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, the Control of Pollution Act 1974, the Water (Scotland) Act 1980, and the Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act 1984. Other amendments and repeals of existing legislation can be found in the Schedules.Last textual amendment was made by The Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Kyoto Protocol Registry) Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/511).n : Environment Act 1995 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 10 September 2021.
Source language


Legislation status
in force
Legislation Amendment
Toolkit legislation
Regulatory Approach
Plastic toolkit tags
Enforcement, Waste, Waste collection, Waste disposal, Waste management
Amended by