Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical and information sciences to the study of the environment, the solution of environmental problems. Environmental science emerged from the fields of natural history and medicine during the Enlightenment. Today it provides an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental systems. Related areas of study include environmental engineering. Environmental studies incorporates more of the social sciences for understanding human relationships and policies towards the environment. Environmental engineering focuses on design and technology for improving environmental quality in every aspect. Environmental scientists work on subjects like the understanding of earth processes, evaluating alternative energy systems, pollution control and mitigation, natural resource management, the effects of global climate change. Environmental issues always include an interaction of physical and biological processes.
Environmental scientists bring a systems approach to the analysis of environmental problems. Key elements of an effective environmental scientist include the ability to relate space, time relationships as well as quantitative analysis. Environmental science came alive as a substantive, active field of scientific investigation in the 1960s and 1970s driven by the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to analyze complex environmental problems, the arrival of substantive environmental laws requiring specific environmental protocols of investigation and the growing public awareness of a need for action in addressing environmental problems. Events that spurred this development included the publication of Rachel Carson's landmark environmental book Silent Spring along with major environmental issues becoming public, such as the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, the Cuyahoga River of Cleveland, Ohio, "catching fire", helped increase the visibility of environmental issues and create this new field of study.
In common usage, "environmental science" and "ecology" are used interchangeably, but technically, ecology refers only to the study of organisms and their interactions with each other and their environment. Ecology could be considered a subset of environmental science, which could involve purely chemical or public health issues ecologists would be unlikely to study. In practice, there is considerable overlap between the work of ecologists and other environmental scientists; the National Center for Education Statistics in the United States defines an academic program in environmental science as follows: A program that focuses on the application of biological and physical principles to the study of the physical environment and the solution of environmental problems, including subjects such as abating or controlling environmental pollution and degradation. Includes instruction in biology, physics, climatology and mathematical modeling. Atmospheric sciences focus on the Earth's atmosphere, with an emphasis upon its interrelation to other systems.
Atmospheric sciences can include studies of meteorology, greenhouse gas phenomena, atmospheric dispersion modeling of airborne contaminants, sound propagation phenomena related to noise pollution, light pollution. Taking the example of the global warming phenomena, physicists create computer models of atmospheric circulation and infra-red radiation transmission, chemists examine the inventory of atmospheric chemicals and their reactions, biologists analyze the plant and animal contributions to carbon dioxide fluxes, specialists such as meteorologists and oceanographers add additional breadth in understanding the atmospheric dynamics. Ecology is the study of the interactions between their environment. Ecologists might investigate the relationship between a population of organisms and some physical characteristic of their environment, such as concentration of a chemical. For example, an interdisciplinary analysis of an ecological system, being impacted by one or more stressors might include several related environmental science fields.
In an estuarine setting where a proposed industrial development could impact certain species by water and air pollution, biologists would describe the flora and fauna, chemists would analyze the transport of water pollutants to the marsh, physicists would calculate air pollution emissions and geologists would assist in understanding the marsh soils and bay muds. Environmental chemistry is the study of chemical alterations in the environment. Principal areas of study include water pollution; the topics of analysis include chemical degradation in the environment, multi-phase transport of chemicals, chemical effects upon biota. As an example study, consider the case of a leaking solvent tank which has entered the habitat soil of an endangered species of amphibian; as a method to resolve or understand the extent of soil contamination and subsurface transport of solvent, a computer model would be implemented. Chemists would characterize the molecular bonding of the solvent to the specific soil type, biologists would study the impacts upon soil arthr
In the United Kingdom a toll point or toll island is a place on a canal where a fee was collected as boats carrying cargo passed. These were sited at strategic points such as the stop lock at the transition from one canal company to another where water transfer was a concern, or at busy locks where water usage and pumping costs were an issue; this was at a lock or an artificially constricted part of the canal so that the boat had to pass within inches of the toll point unable to evade the toll. On canals where the fee was based on cargo weight it put the boat in a convenient place to read the gauging mark height from the water line. On busy canals which were built with a towpath on either side such as the Birmingham Canal Navigations BCN New Main Line the toll house may have been built on an island between two constricted channels so that one toll point could collect from boats travelling in each direction; the BCN retains several of these islands, for example at Winson Green Junction. The maximum tolls were set by canal Acts.
Some early Acts allowed fees to be set by local commissioners or Quarter Sessions, but from 1720 fees could only be reassessed by Parliament. Fees were set in part. Sometimes empty boats were exempt, or free if returning loaded, or if water was running over the weirs. Fees depended on the type of cargo. Coal and lime were the cheapest iron ore finished goods, with perishables and packets being the most expensive. Tolls might be refunded for long distance trips to encourage expansion of trade - "drawbacks" - applied to the coal trade; some exceptions were made to placate local land owners. The delivery of straw, manure or road building materials, as well as coal for the poor, or contribution to county rates may have freed the carrier of toll fees. In the 1790s toll fees were reduced by Parliament to encourage canal use. In practice, competition kept tolls below the maximum after the arrival of the railways. Special tolls existed for use of boat lifts, inclined planes and tunnels, but companies were not allowed to charge different tolls for special customers or over different parts of the line until 1845.
Another type of toll was the compensation toll, charged on a new canal joining an existing waterway 5d. on all goods. Fees were paid by account. Fraud was common: under declaration of the cargo, hiding valuable goods under cheaper cargo, or by bribery. Tolls lasted until nationalisation in 1948 but are still paid by commercial carriers on commercial waterways. Pleasure boats pay British Waterways an annual licence fee based on the length of the craft. Canals were set up as commercial enterprises; the fee for using the canals was dependent on the type of its weight. Each boat had to have four gauging plates fitted to the hull at the "corners" of the boat - bow and stern at each side - indicating a measurement point and a boat serial number; the boat was calibrated by measuring the height of the gunwales above water level at each corner with the boat unladen and measured again when known weights had been loaded into the boat from an overhead gantry. These measurements were logged in toll-keeper's tables and copies sent to every toll office within the boat's trading range.
At toll offices if a toll collector suspected an incorrect waybill the height of the four corners of the boat were checked with a gauging stick and averaged to allow for uneven cargo loading. That boat's entry in the gauging table was used to determine the cargo weight; the toll fee was worked out from the cargo type. The fitting and calibration of gauging plates was done at a gauging indexing station. On the Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line the Smethwick Gauging Station near the Engine Arm Aqueduct was on an island, with a covered gantry in a centre channel where boats were loaded with weights and calibrated; the channels either side allowed two-way traffic and the collection of tolls. The buildings and equipment were demolished in the 1940s. Another BCN indexing station at Tipton survives. Here iron weights were loaded, four tons at a time. Other canal companies had stations at Etruria on the Trent and Mersey Canal and Northwich on the Weaver; the gauging plates had scales showing the tonnage marked on them but around 1810 the method of using tables was implemented supplemented by a visible scale for quick checking.
Boats were re-indexed every ten years as their wooden infrastructure became waterlogged and they ran lower in the water. Canals of the United Kingdom History of the British canal system Historic England. "Tipton Gauging Station - Grade II". Images of England
The River Thames, known alternatively in parts as the Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At 215 miles, it is the longest river in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom, after the River Severn, it flows through Oxford, Henley-on-Thames and Windsor. The lower reaches of the river are called the Tideway, derived from its long tidal reach up to Teddington Lock, it rises at Thames Head in Gloucestershire, flows into the North Sea via the Thames Estuary. The Thames drains the whole of Greater London, its tidal section, reaching up to Teddington Lock, includes most of its London stretch and has a rise and fall of 23 feet. Running through some of the driest parts of mainland Britain and abstracted for drinking water, the Thames' discharge is low considering its length and breadth: the Severn has a discharge twice as large on average despite having a smaller drainage basin. In Scotland, the Tay achieves more than double the Thames' average discharge from a drainage basin, 60% smaller.
Along its course are 45 navigation locks with accompanying weirs. Its catchment area covers a small part of western England; the river contains over 80 islands. With its waters varying from freshwater to seawater, the Thames supports a variety of wildlife and has a number of adjoining Sites of Special Scientific Interest, with the largest being in the remaining parts of the North Kent Marshes and covering 5,449 hectares; the Thames, from Middle English Temese, is derived from the Brittonic Celtic name for the river, recorded in Latin as Tamesis and yielding modern Welsh Tafwys "Thames". The name may have meant "dark" and can be compared to other cognates such as Russian темно, Lithuanian tamsi "dark", Latvian tumsa "darkness", Sanskrit tamas and Welsh tywyll "darkness" and Middle Irish teimen "dark grey"; the same origin is shared by countless other river names, spread across Britain, such as the River Tamar at the border of Devon and Cornwall, several rivers named Tame in the Midlands and North Yorkshire, the Tavy on Dartmoor, the Team of the North East, the Teifi and Teme of Wales, the Teviot in the Scottish Borders, as well as one of the Thames' tributaries called the Thame.
Kenneth H. Jackson has proposed that the name of the Thames is not Indo-European, while Peter Kitson suggested that it is Indo-European but originated before the Celts and has a name indicating "muddiness" from a root *tā-,'melt'. Indirect evidence for the antiquity of the name'Thames' is provided by a Roman potsherd found at Oxford, bearing the inscription Tamesubugus fecit, it is believed. Tamese was referred to as a place, not a river in the Ravenna Cosmography; the river's name has always been pronounced with a simple t /t/. A similar spelling from 1210, "Tamisiam", is found in the Magna Carta; the Thames through Oxford is sometimes called the Isis. And in Victorian times and cartographers insisted that the entire river was named the Isis from its source down to Dorchester on Thames and that only from this point, where the river meets the Thame and becomes the "Thame-isis" should it be so called. Ordnance Survey maps still label the Thames as "River Isis" down to Dorchester. However, since the early 20th century this distinction has been lost in common usage outside of Oxford, some historians suggest the name Isis is nothing more than a truncation of Tamesis, the Latin name for the Thames.
Sculptures titled Tamesis and Isis by Anne Seymour Damer can be found on the bridge at Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Richard Coates suggests that while the river was as a whole called the Thames, part of it, where it was too wide to ford, was called *lowonida; this gave the name to a settlement on its banks, which became known as Londinium, from the Indo-European roots *pleu- "flow" and *-nedi "river" meaning something like the flowing river or the wide flowing unfordable river. For merchant seamen, the Thames has long been just the "London River". Londoners refer to it as "the river" in expressions such as "south of the river"; the river gives its name to three informal areas: the Thames Valley, a region of England around the river between Oxford and West London. Thames Valley Police is a formal body. In non-administrative use, the river's name is used in those of Thames Valley University, Thames Water, Thames Television, publishing company Thames & Hudson and South Thames College. An example of its use in the names of historic entities is the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company.
The administrative powers of the Thames Conservancy have been taken on with modifications by the Environment Agency and, in respect of the Tideway part of the river, such powers are split between the agency and the Port of London Authority. The marks of human activity, in some cases dating back to Pre-Roman Britain, are visible at various points along the river; these include a variety of structure
Izaak Walton was an English writer. Best known as the author of The Compleat Angler, he wrote a number of short biographies that have been collected under the title of Walton's Lives. Walton was born at Stafford in c. 1593. The register of his baptism in September 1593 gives his father's name as Jervis, or Gervase, his father, an innkeeper as well as a landlord of a tavern, died before Izaak was three, being buried in February 1596/7 as Jarvicus Walton. His mother married another innkeeper by the name of Bourne, who ran the Swan in Stafford. Izaak had a brother named Ambrose, as indicated by an entry in the parish register recording the burial in March 1595/6 of an Ambrosius filius Jervis Walton, his date of birth is traditionally given as 9 August 1593. However, this date is based on a misinterpretation of his will, which he began on 9 August 1683, he is believed to have been educated in Stafford before moving to London in his teens. He is described as an ironmonger, but he trained as a linen draper, a trade which came under the Ironmongers' Company.
He had a small shop in Exchange in Cornhill. In 1614 he had a shop in Fleet Street, two doors west of Chancery Lane in the parish of St Dunstan's, he became verger and churchwarden of the church, a friend of the vicar, John Donne. He joined the Ironmongers' Company in November 1618. Walton's first wife was a great-great-niece of Archbishop Cranmer, she died in 1640. He soon remarried, to Anne Ken. After the Royalist defeat at Marston Moor in 1644, Walton retired from his trade, he went to live just north of his birthplace, at a spot between the town of Stafford and the town of Stone, where he had bought some land edged by a small river. His new land at Shallowford included a farm, a parcel of land. Following the Restoration of the Monarchy it was revealed he had aided the Royalists, Izaak was a staunch Royalist supporter, at great personal risk he managed to safeguard one of the Crown Jewels following Charles II defeat at the battle of Worcester. Walton was entrusted with returning it to London from where it was smuggled out of the country to Charles II, in exile.
The first edition of his book The Compleat Angler was published in 1653. His second wife died in 1662, was buried in Worcester Cathedral, where there is a monument to her memory. One of his daughters married a prebendary of Winchester; the last forty years of his life were spent visiting eminent clergymen and others who enjoyed fishing, compiling the biographies of people he liked, collecting information for the Compleat Angler. After 1662 he found a home at Farnham Castle with George Morley, Bishop of Winchester, to whom he dedicated his Life of George Herbert and his biography of Richard Hooker, he sometimes visited Charles Cotton in his fishing house on the Dove. Walton died in his daughter's house at Winchester on 15 December 1683 and was buried in Winchester Cathedral. Isaac Walton, by will, dated 9 August 1698, gave to the town or corporation of Stafford, in which he was born, a farm, situate at Halfhead, in the parish of Chebsey, for the good and benefit of some of the said town, to bind out, two boys, the sons of honest and poor parents, to be apprentices to some tradesmen or handicraftmen, to the intent that the said boys might the better afterwards get their own living: And he gave £5.
Yearly, out of the said rent, to some maid servant that should have attained the age of 21 years, or to some honest poor man's daughter, to be paid to her on her marriage. Walton left his property as described above at Shallowford in Staffordshire for the benefit of the poor of his native town, he had purchased Halfhead Farm there in May 1655. In doing this he was part of a more general retreat of Royalist gentlemen into the English countryside, in the aftermath of the English Civil War, a move summed up by his friend Charles Cotton's well-known poem "The Retirement"; the cost of Shallowford was £350, the property included a farmhouse, a cottage, courtyard and nine fields along which a river ran. Part of its attraction may have been that the River Meece, which he mentions in one of his poems, formed part of the boundary; the farm was let to tenants, Walton kept the excellent fishing. The cottage is now a Walton Museum; the ground floor of the museum is set-out in period, with information boards covering Walton's life, his writings and the story of the Izaak Walton Cottage.
Upstairs a collection of fishing related items is displayed, the earliest dating from the mid-eighteenth century, while a room is dedicated to his Lives and The Compleat Angler. The Izaak Walton Cottage and gardens are open to the public on Sunday afternoons during the summer; the Compleat Angler was first published in 1653, but Walton continued to add to it for a quarter of a century. It is a celebration of the spirit of fishing in prose and verse, it was dedicated to his most honoured friend. There was a second edition in 1655, a th
A potentiometer is a three-terminal resistor with a sliding or rotating contact that forms an adjustable voltage divider. If only two terminals are used, one end and the wiper, it acts as rheostat; the measuring instrument called a potentiometer is a voltage divider used for measuring electric potential. Potentiometers are used to control electrical devices such as volume controls on audio equipment. Potentiometers operated by a mechanism can be used as position transducers, for example, in a joystick. Potentiometers are used to directly control significant power, since the power dissipated in the potentiometer would be comparable to the power in the controlled load. There are a number of terms in the electronics industry used to describe certain types of potentiometers: slide pot or slider pot: a potentiometer, adjusted by sliding the wiper left or right with a finger or thumb thumb pot or thumbwheel pot: a small rotating potentiometer meant to be adjusted infrequently by means of a small thumbwheel trimpot or trimmer pot: a trimmer potentiometer meant to be adjusted once or infrequently for "fine-tuning" an electrical signal Potentiometers consist of a resistive element, a sliding contact that moves along the element, making good electrical contact with one part of it, electrical terminals at each end of the element, a mechanism that moves the wiper from one end to the other, a housing containing the element and wiper.
See drawing. Many inexpensive potentiometers are constructed with a resistive element formed into an arc of a circle a little less than a full turn and a wiper sliding on this element when rotated, making electrical contact; the resistive element can be angled. Each end of the resistive element is connected to a terminal on the case; the wiper is connected to a third terminal between the other two. On panel potentiometers, the wiper is the center terminal of three. For single-turn potentiometers, this wiper travels just under one revolution around the contact; the only point of ingress for contamination is the narrow space between the shaft and the housing it rotates in. Another type is the linear slider potentiometer, which has a wiper which slides along a linear element instead of rotating. Contamination can enter anywhere along the slot the slider moves in, making effective sealing more difficult and compromising long-term reliability. An advantage of the slider potentiometer is that the slider position gives a visual indication of its setting.
While the setting of a rotary potentiometer can be seen by the position of a marking on the knob, an array of sliders can give a visual impression of, for example, the effect of a multi-band equalizer. The resistive element of inexpensive potentiometers is made of graphite. Other materials used include resistance wire, carbon particles in plastic, a ceramic/metal mixture called cermet. Conductive track potentiometers use conductive polymer resistor pastes that contain hard-wearing resins and polymers and lubricant, in addition to the carbon that provides the conductive properties. Multiturn potentiometers are operated by rotating a shaft, but by several turns rather than less than a full turn; some multiturn potentiometers have a linear resistive element with a sliding contact moved by a lead screw. Multiturn potentiometers, both user-accessible and preset, allow finer adjustments. A string potentiometer is a multi-turn potentiometer operated by an attached reel of wire turning against a spring, enabling it to convert linear position to a variable resistance.
User-accessible rotary potentiometers can be fitted with a switch which operates at the anti-clockwise extreme of rotation. Before digital electronics became the norm such a component was used to allow radio and television receivers and other equipment to be switched on at minimum volume with an audible click the volume increased, by turning a knob. Multiple resistance elements can be ganged together with their sliding contacts on the same shaft, for example, in stereo audio amplifiers for volume control. In other applications, such as domestic light dimmers, the normal usage pattern is best satisfied if the potentiometer remains set at its current position, so the switch is operated by a push action, alternately on and off, by axial presses of the knob. Others are enclosed within the equipment and are intended to be adjusted to calibrate equipment during manufacture or repair, not otherwise touched, they are physically much smaller than user-accessible potentiometers, may need to be operated by a screwdriver rather than having a knob.
They are called "preset potentiometers" or "trim pots". Some presets are accessible by a small screwdriver poked through a hole in the case to allow servicing without dismantling; the relationship between slider position and resistance, known as the "taper" or "law", is controlled by the manufacturer. In principle any relationship is possible, but for most purposes linear or logarithmic potentiometers are sufficient. A letter code may be used to identify which taper is used, but the letter code definitions are not standardized. Potentiometers made in Asia and the USA are marked with an "A" for logarithmic taper or a "B" for linear taper
Acoustic Doppler current profiler
An acoustic Doppler current profiler is a hydroacoustic current meter similar to a sonar, used to measure water current velocities over a depth range using the Doppler effect of sound waves scattered back from particles within the water column. The term ADCP is a generic term for all acoustic current profilers, although the abbreviation originates from an instrument series introduced by RD Instruments in the 1980s; the working frequencies range of ADCPs range from 38 kHz to several Megahertz. The device used in the air for wind speed profiling using sound is known as SODAR and works with the same underlying principles. ADCPs contain piezoelectric transducers to receive sound signals; the traveling time of sound waves gives an estimate of the distance. The frequency shift of the echo is proportional to the water velocity along the acoustic path. To measure 3D velocities, at least three beams are required. In rivers, only the 2D velocity is relevant and ADCPs have two beams. In recent years, more functionality has been added to ADCPs and systems can be found with 2,3,4,5 or 9 beams.
Further components of an ADCP are an electronic amplifier, a receiver, a clock to measure the traveling time, a temperature sensor, a compass to know the heading, a pitch/roll sensor to know the orientation. An analog-to-digital converter and a digital signal processor are required to sample the returning signal in order to determine the Doppler shift. A temperature sensor is used to estimate the sound velocity at the instrument position using the seawater equation of state, uses this to estimate scale the frequency shift to water velocities; this procedure assumes. The results are saved to internal memory or output online to an external display software. Three common methods are used to calculate the Doppler shift and thus the water velocity along the acoustic beams; the first method uses a monochromatic transmit pulse and is referred to as "incoherent" or "narrowband". The method is robust and provides good quality mean current profiles but has limited space-time resolution; when the transmit pulse consists of coded elements that are repeated, the method is referred to as "repeat sequence coding" or "broadband".
This method improves the space-time resolution by a factor of 5. Commercially, this method was protected by US patent 5615173 until 2011; the pulse-to-pulse coherent method relies on a sequence of transmit pulses where the echo from subsequent pulses are assumed not to interfere with each other. This method is only applicable for short profiling ranges but the corresponding improvement in space time resolution is of order 1000. Depending on the mounting, one can distinguish between side-looking, downward- and upward-looking ADCPs. A bottom-mounted ADCP can measure the speed and direction of currents at equal intervals all the way to the surface. Mounted sideways on a wall or bridge piling in rivers or canals, it can measure the current profile from bank to bank. In deep water they can be lowered on cables from the surface; the primary usage is for oceanography. The instruments can be used in rivers and canals to continuously measure the discharge. Mounted on moorings within the water column or directly at the seabed, water current and wave studies may be performed.
They can stay underwater for years at a time, the limiting factor is the lifetime of the battery pack. Depending on the nature of the deployment the instrument has the ability to be powered from shore, using the same umbilical cable for data communication. Deployment duration can be extended by a factor of three by substituting lithium battery packs for the standard alkaline packs. By adjusting the window where the Doppler shift is calculated, it is possible to measure the relative velocity between the instrument and the bottom; this feature is referred to as bottom-track. The process has two parts; when an ADCP is mounted on a moving ship, the bottom track velocity may be subtracted from the measured water velocity. The result is the net current profile. Bottom track provides the foundation for surveys of the water currents in coastal areas. In deep water where the acoustic signals cannot reach the bottom, the ship velocity is estimated from a more complex combination of velocity and heading information from GPS, etc.
In rivers, the ADCP is used to measure the total water transport. The method requires a vessel with an ADCP mounted over the side to cross from one bank to another while measuring continuously. Using the bottom track feature, the track of the boat as well as the cross sectional area is estimated after adjustment for left and right bank areas; the discharge can be calculated as the dot product between the vector track and the current velocity. The method is in use by hydrographic survey organisations across the world and forms an important component in the stage-discharge curves used in many places to continuously monitor river discharge. For underwater vehicles, the bottom tracking feature can be used as an important component in the navigation systems. In this case the velocity of the vehicle is combined with an initial position fix, compass or gyro heading, data from the acceleration sensor; the sensor suite is combined to estimate the position of the vehicle. This may help to navigate submarines and remotely operated underwater vehicles.
Some ADCPs can be configured to measure direction. The wave height is estimated with a vertical beam that measures the distance to the surface using the echo fro
Scottish Environment Protection Agency
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency is Scotland’s environmental regulator and national flood forecasting, flood warning and strategic flood risk management authority. Its main role is to improve Scotland's environment. SEPA does this by helping business and industry to understand their environmental responsibilities, enabling customers to comply with legislation and good practice and to realise the many economic benefits of good environmental practice. One of the ways SEPA does, it protects communities by regulating activities that can cause harmful pollution and by monitoring the quality of Scotland's air and water. The regulations it implements cover the storage and disposal of radioactive materials. SEPA is an executive non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government. SEPA was established in 1996 by the Environment Act 1995 and is responsible for the protection of the natural environment in Scotland. SEPA is a member of SEARS. SEPA’s mission statement is to be an environmental regulator and an effective and influential authority on the environment.
SEPA provides a system of environmental protection for Scotland that aims to improve the environment and help deliver the Scottish Government’s overall environmental objectives. So that it can achieve its mission and aims, SEPA has created a Corporate Plan which lists its priorities and goals. SEPA employs around 1,300 staff who are involved in protecting Scotland's environment and human health. SEPA’s staff are employed in a wide range of specialist areas which include: chemistry, environmental regulation, engineering, quality control, communications, business support and management functions; the agency operates through three directorates: The named Environmental Protection and Improvement Directorate is now known as Operations after an internal reorganisation in April 2010. The directorate includes environmental policy, radioactive substances policy and regulation, SEPA’s advisory work, river basin management planning, national planning, strategic environmental assessment and Organisational Development.
The Environmental and Organisational Strategy Directorate and Environmental Science Directorate were merged in a reorganisation that took place in April 2010. The directorate is now known as Science and Strategy Directorate and includes Chemistry, Marine, Environmental Quality, Radioactive Substances, Organisational Planning and Improvement, Environmental Strategy. Communications is part of this directorate, because of its strategic role within the organisation; the Finance and Corporate Services directorate undertakes the financial planning and reporting for the organisation as well as its procurement, facilities management, information systems and management and resilience activities. The Agency Board constitutes SEPA and board members are appointed by Scottish Ministers. SEPA’s Chairman and a Deputy Chairman are appointed by Scottish Ministers and the Agency Board appoints a Chief Executive. SEPA used to have Regional Boards that undertook local engagement with customers and stakeholders.
However, Regional Boards had been phased out by January 2010 and SEPA has since adopted a new approach to engage with its stakeholders at a local level. SEPA is Scotland’s national flood forecasting, flood warning and strategic flood risk management authority. SEPA operates Scotland's flood warning service; this is a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week, information service which includes direct warnings by phone and online flood warnings and flooding updates through its dedicated telephone number 0345 988 1188. As the name suggests, the Floodline service is designed to give the public early warning of flooding in specific areas; the service gives advice on what to do before and after a flood. In Wales, Floodline is operated by Natural Resources Wales, in England by the Environment Agency In March 2011 SEPA enhanced its provision with a direct warnings extension to its Floodline service; this sends flood warning information for a chosen geographical area direct to customers who have registered a mobile or landline telephone number.
That month the Scottish Flood Forecasting Service was formed, a partnership between SEPA and the Met Office with £750,000 of funding from the Scottish Government. Its role is to provide flooding forecasts to 2 responders. In order to protect Scotland's air quality, SEPA regulates and monitors industrial activities and processes in Scotland that may lead to local airborne pollution. In order to do this SEPA work with local authorities and other partners to manage and improve air quality locally." There are many things which can negatively affect good air quality such as, vehicle and transport emissions, energy production, some industrial processes and agriculture. The emissions that are produced by these activities can damage air quality which can lead to health problems, depletion of the ozone layer and changes to other natural habitats; the overall picture in Scotland is one of good air quality, getting better over the last 30 years or so in urban areas. But the picture is not perfect. There are some localised problems in Scottish towns caused by traffic emissions....
Scotland’s carbon dioxide emissions are contributing to global climate changes which are to have significant long term environmental impacts. Alasdair D. Paton, SE