Section 25 — Activities below specified threshold of environmental impact

Part of Marine (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 10:00 am on 4th February 2010.

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Photo of Elaine Murray Elaine Murray Labour 10:00 am, 4th February 2010

The meaning of "fall below" is not necessarily obvious and will depend on the

"specified threshold of environmental impact", which could be 1 per cent, 5 per cent or 10 per cent. The issue is not straightforward; it will depend on the criteria that are used. The issue is important because, as we discussed in committee, a number of small registrable activities could have a cumulative effect. We need to understand what is meant by the terms that are used in section 25.

Amendment 19 was not intended to be unhelpful. I heard what the cabinet secretary said, but surely the same argument could be made against the many provisions in the bill that require representatives of recreational, commercial or environmental protection and enhancement interests to be consulted or involved in partnership. The specification of such groups could lead to disputes between different representatives. I do not see why the argument that applies to amendment 19 should be different from the argument that applies to other provisions in the bill. I press amendment 16.