Applies to – England
The Environment Agency (EA) outlines permits for installations, waste or mining waste operations, water discharge or groundwater activities, or work on or near a main river or sea defence.
You may need an environmental permit if you do an activity that could:
- pollute the air, water or land;
- increase flood risk; and
- adversely affect land drainage
You are breaking the law if you operate without a permit when you should have one
What you need a permit for:
Water, groundwater and flood
You need an environmental permit if you carry out any of the following:
- a stand-alone water discharge activity – releasing polluting liquids to surface water such as rivers or streams; and
- a stand-alone groundwater activity – releasing polluting liquids directly or indirectly to water underground.
You may need an environmental permit for flood risk activities if you do work:
- in, under, over or near a main river (including where the river is in a culvert);
- on or near a flood defence on a main river;
- in the flood plain of a main river; and
- on or near a sea defence.
If you operate any of the following:
- an industrial facility (or similar) – producing potentially harmful substances, eg a landfill site, or petrol station;
- a waste operation –where waste is recycled, stored, treated or disposed of;
- a mining waste operation – a site which manages waste produced from mines or quarries;
- a small waste incineration plant – where certain types and quantities of waste are burned;
- mobile plant – e.g. a machine that’s moved onto a site to clean contaminated soil; and
- a solvent emission activity – releasing organic solvents directly or indirectly into the air.
You need an environmental permit for an activity which involves radioactive substances.
Depending on your activity and the pollution risk, you need to apply to the EA or your local council, so firstly determine who to submit your application to (see here (EA) or here (Local Authority). If you need to apply to the EA make sure you check if you qualify for either an exclusion (when you won’t need a permit) or an exemption (when you won’t need a permit but you may need to register).
If you need any advice or information about the above, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org