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The Water Environment (River Basin Management Planning: Further Provision) (Scotland) Regulations 2013

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Identification of significant and sustained upward trends and the definition of starting points for trend reversals

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23.—(1) SEPA must, in accordance with Annex IV to the Groundwater Directive, for any body of groundwater (or, as the case may be, group of such bodies) that it has characterised as being at risk of failing to meet the environmental objectives set pursuant to regulation 3(1)—

(a)identify any significant and sustained upward trend in the concentration of a pollutant, a group of pollutants or any indicator of pollution; and

(b)determine the starting point for reversing that trend.

(2) SEPA must, in accordance with Part B of Annex IV to the Groundwater Directive, take steps to ensure that each programme of measures will reverse trends which present a significant risk of harm to the quality of aquatic ecosystems or terrestrial ecosystems, to human health, or to actual or potential legitimate uses of the water environment, in order progressively to reduce pollution and prevent deterioration of groundwater.

(3) SEPA must determine the starting point for trend reversal as a percentage of the level of the groundwater quality standards and threshold values, on the basis of the identified trend and the associated environmental risk, in accordance with paragraph 1 in Part B of Annex IV to the Groundwater Directive.

(4) Where necessary to assess the impact of existing plumes of pollution in a body of groundwater that may threaten the achievement of the environmental objectives set pursuant to regulation 3(1) including, in particular, plumes resulting from point sources and contaminated land, SEPA must carry out additional trend assessments for identified pollutants to verify that plumes from contaminated sites—

(a)do not expand;

(b)do not deteriorate the chemical status of the body of groundwater (or the group of such bodies); and

(c)do not present a risk for human health and the environment.

(5) The river basin management plan (or the next update of it) must include a summary of—

(a)the way in which the trend assessment from individual monitoring points within the body of groundwater (or group of such bodies) has contributed to identifying, in accordance with section 2.5 (presentation of groundwater status) of Annex V to the Water Framework Directive, that the body (or group of such bodies) is subject to a significant and sustained upward trend in concentration of any pollutant or a reversal of that trend;

(b)the reasons for the starting points determined pursuant to paragraph (3); and

(c)the results of any assessment under paragraph (4).

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