Environmental Standards Scotland (ESS) is a public sector body, set up as a non-ministerial office, independent of but accountable to the Scottish Government.
The ESS is set up under the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021 (enacted by the Scottish Parliament).
The ESS Interim Strategic Plan (here) states it is mindful of the commitments given by the Scottish Government to fulfil its international obligations and to ‘keep pace’ with the European Union.
The ESS has been established to fill the environmental governance gap caused by the UK’s departure from the European Union. Its task is to ensure that there is effective scrutiny of public authorities’ compliance with environmental law and that the application of the law is effective in protecting and enhancing nature and human health. The Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) is a similar body in England, and also in Northern Ireland.
Live investigations are published on the ESS website – here.