Environmental permits

You must have an Environmental Permit if you operate a regulated facility in England or Wales.

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

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.

Categories

Listed activities are divided into three categories: Part A(1), Part A(2) and Part B.

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 control activities which 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 

Eligibility criteria

Applications must be made on the form provided or online and must include specified information which will vary depending on the operation.

A fee may be payable.

If further information is required the applicant will be notified by the regulator and they must 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

  1. 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
  2. We hold the right to inform the public of the application and must consider any representations
  3. 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

Apply online

Failed application redress

An applicant who is refused an environmental permit may appeal to the appropriate authority. In England the appropriate authority is the Secretary of State.

Appeals must be lodged no later than six months from the date of the decision.

Licence Holder Redress

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 appropriate authority.

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.