All industrial processes have the potential to release pollution to land, air and water. This pollution can pose a health risk to people as well as damaging the environment. To prevent this, industrial processes are tightly regulated in order to minimise, and to manage, their environmental impacts.
Listed activities and Environmental Permit types
The council's role in the regime is to issue permits which set controls and emission standards to minimise pollution from certain industrial activities.
If you are an operator of an installation where one or more industrial activities listed in Schedule 1, Part 2 of the Regulations are carried out you will require one or more permits to operate / continue to operate.
Listed activities include:
- energy - burning fuel, gasification, liquification and refining activities
- metals - manufacturing and processing metals
- minerals - manufacturing lime, cement, ceramics or glass
- chemicals - manufacturing chemicals, pharmaceuticals or explosives, storing chemicals in bulk
- waste - incinerating waste, operating landfills, recovering waste
- solvents - using solvents (e.g. dry cleaners, petrol stations)
- other - manufacturing paper, pulp and board, treating timber products, coating, treating textiles and printing, manufacturing new tyres, intensive pig and poultry farming
Anyone operating an activity that is listed in Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016 requires a permit. The industrial activities covered are wide ranging and are split into three categories depending on their size: Part A1, Part A2 and Part B installations. You may require more than one permit.
The Environment Agency controls A1 activities, which are the larger more polluting and complex industries, such as landfill sites and poultry farms. Enquiries about Part A1 activities should be made to the Environment Agency.
The local authority undertakes the inspection and regulation of all Part A2 activities within the Borough. Part A1 and A2 activities have pollution controls to protect the environment from emissions to air, water (including discharges to sewer) and land, including any other activities that may have an environmental impact. The Part A2 activities regime is known as Local Authority Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (LA-IPPC).
Part B activities
Part B activities are considered unlikely to cause pollution to land or water and are only regulated for emissions to air. The Part B activities regime is known as Local Authority Pollution Prevention and Control (LAPPC).
Inspection of processes
The issue of an ‘Environmental Permit’ is not the end of the control process. Local authorities are required to inspect processes each year dependent upon the risk that they pose and to ensure that conditions are being followed.
All processes are required to be risk assessed, including reduced fee activities - petrol stations, dry cleaners, waste oil burners, vehicle resprayers and mobile crushers and screeners.
The risk assessment process categorises each site as either high, medium or low risk, dependant upon a set scoring system. This category determines:
- the annual subsistence fee for the process
- the number of inspections each year
In the case of reduced fee activities, it can be up to nearly three years before their next inspection. This reduces some of the burden on the process, especially if they are complying and allows officers attention to be moved to processes that require more officer intervention.