Applies to – England
The Environment Agency (EA) is not currently enforcing the need for an environmental permit in specific cases for some activities, called Regulatory position statements.
These regulatory position statements (RPSs) explain when you do not need to apply for a permit for those activities. The example of ‘temporary dewatering from excavations to surface water’ (guidance document for water discharges is here) is key for contractors outlining guidance when dewatering rainwater and infiltrated groundwater.
This RPS covers the discharge of uncontaminated water (such as rainwater) from excavations at building sites and other excavations. You usually need an environmental permit if you discharge liquid or waste water into surface water.
Conditions you must adhere to:
The discharge must:
- be clean water
- not result in silty water entering surface water
- not last more than 3 consecutive months
- re-enter surface water, such as a river, stream or the sea
- have a method statement that minimises the risk of pollution.
You must not:
- Pollute the surface water
- Contain chemical dosing agents
- Originate from a contaminated site (oil, metals etc.)
- Result in the spread of non-native species
- Cause flooding
- Cause erosion
- Contain concrete wash out
- Contain site drainage from surface areas including haul road, or working areas
- Originate from a site with high concentrations of substances above UK standards
Before you start work, you must:
- Plan to minimise contaminants from entering the excavation (e.g. silt)
- Plan to dispose of water entering your excavation
- Plan to not use machinery in excavations during dewatering
- Minimise water entering the excavation
- Consider SUDs
You must also know your site, which must not be located within 500m upstream of a SSSI, SAC, SPA (either candidate, possible or potential), SCI, Ramsar or other nature conservation sites.
An RPS means that the EA will not normally take enforcement action against you provided; your activity meets the description set out in this RPS, you comply with the conditions and/or your activity does not (and is not likely to) cause environmental pollution or harm human health.
If you need any advice or information about the above, please contact us at email@example.com