24Appeal to the Scottish Ministers following SEPA’s review
(1)A reservoir manager of a controlled reservoir who is given notice of SEPA’s decision in a review under section 23 may appeal to the Scottish Ministers against that decision.
(2)Any such appeal must be made before the end of the period of 12 months beginning with the date on which the notice under section 23(5) was given.
(3)A risk designation in respect of which an appeal is made under this section continues to have effect while the appeal is pending.
(4)Before determining an appeal the Scottish Ministers—
(a)may, at their own expense, appoint to make recommendations about the risk designation an engineer who is a member of a panel of reservoir engineers established under section 27 who may (by virtue of an order under that section) be appointed under this subsection, and
(b)must take into account—
(i)a recommendation by any engineer appointed under this subsection, and
(ii)the matters mentioned in section 22.
(5)The Scottish Ministers must notify their determination of the appeal by giving the reservoir manager and SEPA notice—
(a)specifying whether they confirm the risk designation or give the reservoir a different risk designation,
(b)where they give the reservoir a different risk designation, specifying which one of the other types referred to in paragraphs (a) to (c) of section 18(3) is the different risk designation,
(c)specifying the reasons for their decision.
(6)Any fee charged by SEPA under section 23(6) must be returned by it to the reservoir manager in the following circumstances—
(a)where the risk designation which was the subject of the appeal was as a high-risk reservoir and the Scottish Ministers’ decision in the appeal is to give a risk designation as a medium-risk reservoir or a low-risk reservoir,
(b)where the risk designation which was the subject of the appeal was as a medium-risk reservoir and the Scottish Ministers’ decision in the appeal is to give a risk designation as a low-risk reservoir.
(7)The Scottish Ministers may by regulations make further provision in relation to appeals under this section.