Environmental Protection & Services
Environmental permitting regulations
Local Authorities are required to regulate certain types of industries to reduce pollution and in particular improve air quality. The laws include The Pollution Prevention & Control Act 1999 and Environmental Permitting (England and Wales Regulations) 2016 which together govern Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control and Local Authority Pollution Prevention and Control.
Our role in the regime is to issue permits which set controls and emission standards to minimise pollution from certain industrial activities. The Activities which require a permit can be found in Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016. Once a Permit has been issued we routinely inspect the activity, those with a higher pollution potential are inspected more frequently.
The Environmental Permitting (England & Wales) Regulations 2016 has replaced the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations. There are currently no requirements to amend existing permits issued under the Environmental Permitting Regulations, PPC permits automatically become EP permits without any need to alter the wording on the permit.
DEFRA are currently looking at reviewing the permitting regime again through ‘Better Regulation’.
The activities listed in the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016 are split into three categories namely A1, A2 and Part B activities. Part A1 activities are administered by the Environment Agency and regulate emissions to air, land and water as well as considering issues such as noise, waste and energy efficiency. Part A2 activities are administered by the local authority and consider the same issues. Part B activities are again administered by the local authority but only regulate emissions to the air. Part A1 and A2 processes tend to be the larger more complex type of industrial activities.
Operators of installations like those mentioned above must obtain a permit to operate. An application fee must accompany the application for permit. For the charging scheme please contact our Environmental Protection Team.
Permit applications must include a written description of the way in which pollution is to be minimised. Where a local authority decides to grant an installation a permit, that permit must include conditions stipulating how pollution is to be minimised. Government guidance has been published as to the appropriate pollution standards for various types of installation. The law requires the standards to achieve a balance between protecting the environment and the cost of so doing. The local authority is required to have regard to that guidance.
Operators can appeal where a permit application is refused or where it is granted but the operator disagrees with the conditions.
Once a permit is issued the operator must comply with the conditions.
Local authorities categorise installations according to the risk they represent (high, medium or low risk) based on the potential environmental impact in the event of an incident, and the effectiveness and reliability of the operator.
Where a business fails to comply with the Regulations, local authorities have the power to serve various types of notice and the power to prosecute. Where possible, however, authorities try to work with the operator to resolve problems.
The regulations stipulate that most activities that manage waste should have an environmental permit. However certain waste operations can apply for what is termed an exemption. Exemptions are waste operations that do not require a full permit but need to be registered. Registered waste operations come with a number of standard conditions for example that public nuisance is not caused. Most waste permits and exemptions are not dealt with by the local authority and are administered and enforced by the Environment Agency. However local authorities register two specific waste exemptions:
Treating waste metals or alloys by heating to remove grease, oil or any other metallic contaminant (also called a category T3 activity)
Treating waste bricks,tiles, or concrete by crushing, grinding or size reduction (also called a T7 activity)
T3 activities are the treatment of waste metals for the purposes of removing grease, oil and any non-metallic contaminant by heating in an appliance. To qualify as a T3 exempt waste operation the activity must also meet the following criteria:
- The total quantity of waste stored at any one time must not exceed 10 tonnes;
- The waste must be stored in a secure location with sealed drainage;
- The appliance (or aggregate of all appliances used together) must be less than 0.2 megawatts net rated thermal input; and
- It must not be used for the removal of plastic and rubber from scrap cable or any asbestos contaminant.
T7 activities involve the treatment by crushing, grinding or reducing in size of concrete, bricks, tiles and ceramics or mixtures of these materials (other than those containing dangerous substances, i.e. ‘170106 mixtures’).
Such T7 activities typically involve the use of small-scale/micro crushers and can include some mobile plant. It is an exempt activity ONLY if it satisfies ALL of the following specific conditions:
- No more than 20 tonnes of waste are treated over any period of one hour;
- No more than 200 tonnes of waste are stored at any one time;
- The waste is stored in a secure place (i.e. non accessible to the general public and from where waste cannot escape) prior to processing;
- The treatment is carried out at the place where the waste was produced OR at the location where the processed material is to be used;
- Any release of substances into air is trivial, i.e. will not cause pollution or will cause insignificant pollution.
How do I register my T3 or T7 Exempt Waste Operation?
To do this, you must be the occupier of the land where the exempt activities will be carried out, or have the consent of the occupier. There is no charge to register.
If the plant is fixed and located within our district, the Council is the regulator for this exemption. If you operate mobile plant then your principal place of business must be within the Boston district, otherwise you should contact your home local authority.
Your registration once granted will be valid for 3 years and you must renew your registration before the registration expires. You can apply for a renewal of your registration up to 1 month before the expiry date. If you do not apply for a renewal before the expiry date, your registration will be removed and you will no longer be registered for that exempt waste operation.
As the exemption registration authority we are required to maintain a Public Register of undertakings with a valid T3 or T7 waste exemption. A copy of the Public Register can be inspected at the Council offices.
General guidance manual (GGM)
The GGM comprises guidance on the policy and permitting procedures for activities subject to LA-IPPC and LAPPC under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016.
It is statutory guidance to local authority regulators, which they must have regard to. It aims to guide firms undertaking or planning to undertake relevant activities on their legal obligations. And it is designed to be useful to members of the public interested in industrial pollution control.
Guidance notes for local authority regulated industrial activities
Process and Sector Guidance Notes are specific to particular industrial sectors.
Process Guidance Notes (PG Notes) involve only Part B activities whereas the Sector Guidance Notes (SG Notes) involve only Part A(2) activities.
The additional guidance notes are known as Air Quality Notes (AQ Notes) and are used to provide information on any issue that requires clarification in writing by Defra.
This could be a correction to existing guidance, a reminder of the importance of certain requirements, drawing LA officers’ attention to a relevant consultation which they may not have seen, clarifying Best Available Techniques if possible in the event of multiple queries, or merely an update on the latest state of play.
You can apply online via the .GOV website, however, I would recommend that you contact Boston Borough Council’s Environmental Health prior to making any application.
Local Authorities are required to maintain a public register containing information on all the processes that are permitted by them under Part B or Part 2A of the regulations. Public registers regarding Part A1 processes permitted by the Environment Agency used to also be kept by the local authority in whose area the permitted process was undertaken. However this is no longer the case and you will need to contact the Environment Agency’s regional offices to make an appointment to view the public register. The Environment Agency’s general enquiries telephone number is 03708506506.
The register lists details of the operator, the type of process, the date the authorisation was given, the application number and the address of the operator’s head office. This register must be made available to members of the public for them to view free of charge. Copies of the documents should also be made available for a reasonable fee.
The public register can be viewed at our offices in West Street, Boston.
Current Applications – Consultations
None at present