Environmental permits

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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 three 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 that cause emissions to air.

The permit your business requires depends on the specific processes involved and resulting emissions.

Permits are available from the Environment Agency or your local authority (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

How to apply

Please use the links below:

A fee may be payable.

Eligibility criteria

The operator must submit the application. You must use the form provided and include all specified information. This will vary depending on the operation.

If further information is required you will be notified by the regulator and you must provide this information or the application will be deemed to be withdrawn.

No licence will be granted for waste operations unless any required planning permission has first been granted.

What the law says

The Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Act was introduced in 1999 to comply with EU Directive's controlling emissions to air from certain industrial processes. The IPPC Act superseded Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA), under which controls upon certain industrial activities could be introduced.

Application process

The regulator will pay regard to the protection of the environment. This will be done by preventing or, where that is not practicable, reducing emissions into the air, water and land.

The regulator may inform the public of the application and must consider any representations.

The operator of the regulated facility must submit the application. The regulator must be satisfied that they will operate the facility in accordance with the environmental permit.

How long will it take to process my application?

It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted and we aim to do this within 90 days. If you have not heard from us within this period, please contact us.

Can I appeal if my application is refused?

Please contact us in the first instance. Any applicant who is refused a licence or wants to object to a condition on the licence can appeal to their local magistrates' court within 21 days of receiving notice of the decision.

Complaints about operators of regulated facilities

If you wish to complain that an operator is causing a nuisance, or if you believe that there has been a breach of permit conditions, please contact us. If you are in the UK, you can also contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service who will give you advice. From outside the UK please contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

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