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Terry A'Hearn has resigned as chief executive of SEPA. Photo: SEPA.
Terry A'Hearn has resigned as chief executive of SEPA. Photo: SEPA.

Terry A’Hearn, chief executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), has resigned following conduct allegations, SEPA announced this afternoon.

SEPA chairman Bob Downes said: “Following conduct allegations, Terry A’Hearn has stepped down and left his position. SEPA has a clear Code of Conduct and takes conduct allegations very seriously indeed. In order to protect anonymity, SEPA is unable to comment further.”

Downes said that recruitment for a new chief executive would shortly commence and that in the interim chief officer Jo Green would be acting chief executive, supported by SEPA’s Agency Management Team.

Fish farm licensing

SEPA is responsible for licensing salmon farms through the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011, commonly known as the CAR licence.

The Scottish Government also recently confirmed SEPA as the lead body responsible for managing the risk posed by sea lice from marine finfish farms to wild salmonids.

SEPA is currently consulting on its proposals for a new, spatially based risk assessment framework for regulating the interaction between sea lice from marine finfish farms and wild Atlantic salmon. The consultation closes on March 14.