Risk rating

A number of years ago the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) introduced a risk based methodology for use by local authorities in determining the relative level of risk associated with processes regulated under Local Authority Pollution Prevention and Control (Part B) and Local Authority Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (Part A(2)). The aim is to direct the effort that local authorities devote to regulating processes, and it links the required effort involved in regulation to the annual subsistence fees paid by an installation for its permit. The risk categories are low, medium and high. Small waste oil burners, petrol stations, dry cleaners and mobile plant are risk rated slightly differently.

Risk Assessment Method

The risk assessment method is based upon both the nature of the process and the way in which it is managed. It is divided into two parts, each consisting of a number of components that are scored separately:

1. Environmental Impact Appraisal, which concerns the potential environmental impacts of a process according to its type, level of upgrading to meet regulatory requirements, and its proximity to sensitive receptors (e.g. schools, residential areas, public open spaces).

Certain process are considered to have a higher inherent environmental impact potential than others and this is reflected in a higher score.  Category 3 process, such as roadstone coating plants, score the maximum number of points (30) compared to a Category 1 process, such as the use of bulk cement, which scores only 10 points.

2. Operator Performance Appraisal, which relates to how well the operator of the business manages the potential environmental impact of the process. The scoring system covers any instances of non-compliance (e.g. complaints or breaches of permit conditions) and how the process operators manage their monitoring requirements, maintenance and record keeping.  There is also a scoring component covering aspects of management, training and responsibility.

Overall Scoring

The overall score for a process is obtained by summing the scores for each component. The maximum total score is 175. Processes that score less than 40 fall into the low risk category, processes that score between 40 and 80 fall into the medium category and processes that score over 80 fall into the high risk category.

Where a process requires 'high' regulatory effort, this may imply longer and/or more frequent visits; for example visits twice a year rather than annually. Where 'low' regulatory effort is required, this may imply shorter and/or less frequent visits. Officers will judge for each process how the estimated regulatory time can be best spent to maximise the efficiency of regulation. It is not intended that application of the risk-based method should lead to a significant reduction in overall regulatory effort; rather effort should be prioritised towards those processes posing the greatest risk of environmental pollution.

If you are an existing Part B or Part A(2) process in Derbyshire Dales and you have a query regarding your risk category, please contact the Pollution Control Officer.