Environmental permitting

Pollution from industrial installations in England and Wales has been controlled to some extent for over 150 years.

The Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations 2000 (the "PPC Regulations") were introduced under the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 in response to the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive (96/61), and build on existing systems. The PPC Regulations gradually replaced the pollution control regime set up under Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990), and the PPC Regulations were replaced in April 2008 by the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2007, and again replaced on 6 April 2010 by the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010.  These have now been replaced by the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016.

The Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016 ("the Regulations") aim to simplify regulation for waste management and pollution prevention and control. The 2010 regulations also include water discharge consents, ground water authorisations and radioactive substances regulation.

The Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016

All installations with an existing Pollution Prevention and Control permit automatically transferred into the new Regulations. As from 6 April 2010 such permits will now be termed "Environmental Permits".

There are three separate, but linked, systems of pollution control:

  • Installations known as A(1) installations, which are regulated by the Environment Agency;
  • Installations known as A(2) installations, which are regulated by local authorities;
  • Installations known as Part B installations, also regulated by local authorities.

All three systems require the operators of certain industrial and agricultural installations to obtain a permit to operate. The aim of this system of regulation is to control the environmental impact of certain potentially polluting activities. Once an operator has submitted a permit application, the regulator then decides whether to issue a permit. If one is issued, it will include conditions aimed at reducing and preventing pollution to acceptable levels. A(1) installations are generally perceived to have a greater to potential to pollute the environment than an A(2) installation, and Part B installations would have the least potential to pollute.

An installation is a "technical unit" where one or more industrial activities listed in Schedule 1 of the Regulations are carried out. The Regulations also specify that an installation includes any other location on the same site where directly associated activities that have a technical connection to the listed activity, which could have an effect on pollution. The activities are broadly divided into the relevant industrial sectors and categorised as Part A(1), A(2) or B activities as detailed above. Where several listed activities from different parts of Schedule 1 of the Regulations are carried out in an installation, the installation will be permitted according to the "highest common denominator". Therefore if Part A(1), A(2) and B activities were all carried out at an installation, it would be permitted as an A(1) installation and therefore regulated by the Environment Agency. If Part A(2) and Part B activities were carried out at an installation, it would be permitted as an A(2) installation and be regulated by the local authority.

Part A(1) and A(2) installations

Regulators must set permit conditions which are based on the use of the 'Best Available Techniques' (BAT), which balances the cost to the operator against benefits to the environment. Regulators are required to set permit conditions for pollution to air, land and water. The Regulations also include provisions relating to energy efficiency, site restoration, noise, odour, waste minimisation, environmental accident prevention and heat and vibrations.

The EP Regulations apply to a wide range of activities, including food and drink manufacturers, large-scale intensive livestock production (pigs and poultry) and landfill.

Part B installations

As with A(1) and A(2) installations, regulators must set permit conditions which are based on the use of 'Best Available Techniques' (BAT). However these conditions extend only to emissions to air.

Summary of Pollution Control Sites in Derbyshire Dales

There are range of Part A1 processes and waste management facilities, regulated by the Environment Agency, which include landfill sites, treatment of animal and vegetable matter and pig and poultry farms. The Environment Agency public register can provide more information.

A full list of all permitted processes in Derbyshire Dales is available to download on the Public Register page. These include, amongst others, quarry processes, mineral drying and cooling, dry cleaners, vehicle refinishers, tar and bitumen activities, mobile crushing and screening and petrol stations.

Further information

Details of all installations permitted under all three regimes are held at the Town Hall, Matlock and are freely available for viewing. Access is available during normal office hours, although it would be helpful if contact is made with the Pollution Control Officer before inspecting the Public Register to ensure an officer is available. Further information on how to apply for a permit is available on our Permits page.