Air quality

Regulating industrial processes

Some facilities could harm the environment or human health unless they are regulated. Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR) require operators of 'regulated facilities' to obtain a permit or to register some activities. In this way, EPR provides for ongoing supervision by regulators of activities which could harm the environment. The Environmental Permitting (EP) legislation requires a permit to be obtained from an appropriate regulator, either the:

  • Environment Agency
  • Council

A permit allows activities to be carried out with certain conditions and gives clear instructions on how the environment must be protected. Permits cover:

  • water
  • land and air pollution
  • radioactive contamination
  • other environmental hazards

The standards of protection take into account the nature of the hazard, the cost and the risks to the environment and human health. The activities controlled by the EP legislation are divided into three categories and are regulated by two different bodies:

  • Part A (1) – the Environment Agency
  • Part A (2) and B – the Council

Part A (1) – the Environment Agency

The Environment Agency regulates what is considered to be the most polluting of the three industrial categories: A (1) installations. These are regulated for emissions to land, air, water and other environmental considerations. Examples of A (1) installations are landfill sites and hazardous waste incinerators.

Part A (2) and B – the Council

The Council regulates A (2) installations, as well as the lesser polluting Part B installations, which are regulated for emissions to air only. Examples of Part B installations include petrol stations, dry cleaners and vehicle re-sprayers.

The charging scheme, which is set by the government and regularly reviewed, follows the ‘polluter pays’ principle by linking the charge to the regulatory effort required to monitor the installation. It aims to reward businesses that seek to minimise the likelihood of causing pollution issues by reducing the annual subsistence charge.

The Council carries out regular inspections on permitted installations to ensure it is being operated within the terms of the permit. If you wish to make a complaint about an industrial business please contact the Council.