Section 13 – SEPA to identify potentially vulnerable areas and local plan districts
41.This section provides for the identification of areas within flood risk management districts where significant flood risks exist or are likely to occur. These areas are referred to as “potentially vulnerable areas”. Flood risk and flood hazard maps must then be produced for such areas under section 21 and flood risk management plans produced under section 27 will set objectives to manage flood risks for the areas.
42.The section also provides for the identification of geographic areas around potentially vulnerable areas for the purpose of preparing local flood risk management plans under section 34. These areas are referred to as “local plan districts” and they must consist of one or more river basins, sub-basins or coastal areas. “River basin” has the same meaning as in the 2003 Act and “sub-basin” is defined in section 55(1). The Scottish Ministers may specify the boundaries of coastal areas under section 55(2).
43.Subsections (1) to (3) require SEPA to prepare and submit to the Scottish Ministers a document identifying potentially vulnerable areas and local plan districts. Subsection (4) sets out the information on which SEPA must base its identification of potentially vulnerable areas and local plan districts. It also requires the areas to be identified with reference to maps.
44.The document must be submitted by SEPA by a date set by the Scottish Ministers under subsection (2), and after any consultation required by regulations made under section 15.
45.The Scottish Ministers may then approve the document (as submitted or with modifications) or reject it and direct SEPA to resubmit it. Subsections (6) to (8) set out arrangements in connection with the consideration, approval or rejection of the document by the Scottish Ministers.
46.This section enables the Scottish Ministers to implement Article 5 of the Directive.