Scotland spreads its strategic assessment net

Virtually all public sector strategies, plans and programmes in Scotland will be subject to a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) under a bill introduced to the Scottish parliament last week. The law goes beyond requirements in the EU's SEA directive and "puts Scotland ahead of Europe", said environment minister Ross Finnie. The SEA directive mandates assessments only for plans and programmes required by legislation or that set a framework for projects subject to mandatory environmental impact assessment. Purely budgetary or national defence plans are excluded. See draft law, explanatory notes and policy memorandum.

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