So, you’ve worked out you need an EPS licence, for say, transferring crude oil in the middle of a dolphin SAC. What next? Well, According to Marine Scotland
The licence assessment will comprise three tests to ascertain: 1) whether the licence is to be granted for one of the purposes specified in the Regulations; 2) whether there are no satisfactory alternatives to the activity proposed (that would avoid the risk of offence); and 3) that the licensing of the activity will not be detrimental to the maintenance of the population of the species concerned at a Favourable Conservation Status. The licence assessment will be carried out by Licensing Operations Team (Marine Scotland) using the information provided by the developer and advice from Marine Scotland Science (MSS) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
Marine EPS licences for Scottish inshore waters are issued by Scottish Ministers or Scottish Natural Heritage depending on the purpose.
Wait on a minute. If Marine Scotland issue EPS licences and an EPS licence is required to undertake STS in the Moray Firth and Marine Scotland are part of the Scottish Government. That means that the Scottish Government do have a role in STS which is something they are continuing to deny. Might be worth reminding them who elected them.