You must have an environmental permit if you operate a regulated facility in England or Wales.
A regulated facility includes:
- installations or mobile plants carrying out listed activities
- waste operations
- waste mobile plant
- mining waste operations
Listed activities include:
- energy – burning fuel, gasification, liquefaction and refining activities
- metals – manufacturing and processing metals
- minerals – manufacturing lime, cement, ceramics or glass
- chemicals – manufacturing chemicals, pharmaceuticals or explosives, storing chemicals in bulk
- waste – incinerating waste, operating landfills, recovering waste
- solvents – using solvents
- other – manufacturing paper, pulp and board, treating timber products, coating, treating textiles and printing, manufacturing new tyres, intensive pig and poultry farming
Listed activities are divided into 3 categories: Part A(1), Part A(2) and Part B:
Part A permits
Part A permits control activities with a range of environmental impacts, including:
- emissions to air, land and water
- energy efficiency
- waste reduction
- raw materials consumption
- noise, vibration and heat
- accident prevention
Part B permits
Part B permits control activities which cause emissions to air.
The permit your business requires depends on the specific processes involved and resulting emissions.
Request a permit
Permits are available from the Environment Agency or ourselves (the regulator) depending upon the category your business falls within:
- part A(1) installations or mobile plants are regulated by the Environment Agency
- part A(2) and Part B installations or mobile plants are regulated by the local authority, except waste operations carried out at part B installations which are regulated by the Environment Agency
- waste operations or waste mobile plant carried on other than at an installation, or by Part A or Part B mobile plants, are regulated by the Environment Agency
- mining waste operations are regulated by the Environment Agency
Applications must be made on the form provided by us or online and must include specified information which will vary depending on the operation.
If further information is required the applicant will be notified by us and must include specified information which will vary depending on the operation. They will need to provide this information or the application will be deemed to be withdrawn.
The application must be from the operator of the regulated facility.
For waste operations no licence will be granted unless any required planning permission had first been granted.
Application evaluation process
The application must be provided on the form provided by ourselves and must include the relevant fee.
Application should give all the information a local authority needs to make a determination (duly made). To that end pre-application discussions with the regulator are recommended.
Where an application does not contain all the required information the regulator will have to request additional information delaying determination.
Applications that are not duly made will normally be returned along with any fee.
We will normally determine the application within 4 months of receipt (3 months for dry cleaners).
We will pay regard to the protection of the environment taken as a whole by, in particular, preventing or, where that is not practicable, reducing emissions into the air, water and land.
As the regulator we may inform the public of the application and must consider any representations.
The application must be from the operator of the regulated facility and the regulator must be satisfied that they must operate the facility in accordance with the environmental permit.
It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us.
How we will notify you
You will be notified in writing of any decisions relating to your application as soon as reasonably practicable.
Applications will normally be determined within 4 months of receipt.
We would recommend that you contact us for an application form. Alternatively application forms can be downloaded on this page.
The public register
Our role is to write a permit that contains a number of conditions to control the way the process operates and set emission standards or pollution levels.
We inspect these processes routinely, and more often where we suspect problems may be happening. Breaching the conditions we set may lead to enforcement action and can lead to prosecution. We must also keep information about these processes on a Public Register.
An applicant who is refused an environmental permit may appeal to the Secretary of State. Appeals must be lodged no later than six months from the date of the decision.
If an application to vary, transfer or surrender an environmental permit has been refused or if the applicant objects to conditions imposed on the environmental permit they may appeal to the Secretary of State.
Appeals must be lodged in relation to a regulator initiated variation, a suspension notice or an enforcement notice, not later than two months from the date of the variation or notice and in any other case not later than six months from the date of the decision.
Compensation maybe payable in relation to conditions affecting certain interests in land.
Complaints and comments
For consumers we would always advise that in the event of a complaint, contact is made with the trader by you – preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery).
If that has not worked, if you are located:
- in the UK, ask Citizen’s Advice
- outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre.
European Economic Area
We are part of the European network for delivering information relating to doing business in the European Economic Area.
For full information on the EU Services Directive and Points of Single Contact for other member states visit the European Commission website.
We are a part of the European network for delivering information relating to doing business in the European Economic Area. For full information on the EU Services Directive and Points of Single Contact for other member states from the European Commission.