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Environmental permits

Environmental permits are needed by businesses that affect the environment by causing air pollution through release of smoke, dust, or solvent fumes; or by creating water or land contamination. This is a requirement of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.

The permit sets out limits on the pollution your business can make at your premises and from any mobile plant, and what you need to do to prevent and control pollution.

Some of the most common businesses in our area requiring an environmental permit include:

  • Petrol stations
  • Waste oil and recovered oil burners
  • Crushing and screening of concrete, bricks and tiles
  • Roadstone coating processes
  • Loading, unloading and use of bulk cement (for example, a batching plant)
  • Using solvents (for example, for surface cleaning, or vehicle respraying)

The environmental permitting regime is split into three categories and is regulated by two different regulators:

  • Part A1 - The Environment Agency regulates what are considered to be the most polluting of the three industrial categories. These are regulated for multi-media emissions, such as land, air, water and other environmental considerations. Check if you need an environmental permit on GOV.UK.

  • Part A2 and Part B - Local Authorities regulate the comparatively less polluting Part A2 activities for multi-media emissions and the lesser polluting Part B activities for emissions to air only.

There are currently 48 Part B processes. List of Part B operating installations (PDF: 56Kb /6 pages).

How to apply for an environmental permit

For more detailed information on environmental permits and to check whether you need a permit, go to Environmental Permits on GOV.UK

To apply for a Part B permit, you will need to provide us with information about your pollution control equipment, methods and working practices, together with the correct fee. Part B Application form (PDF: 293Kb /11 pages)

What is the application fee?

Fees are set by Central Government. They change every year and vary from one type of business to another. They also vary depending on your environmental performance - this is calculated using a risk assessment based on the outcome of inspection. Fees and Charges 2016/17

How we deal with your application

The whole process of getting a permit is governed by legislation which is set out by the Government. For more guidance on the whole environmental permitting process and an overview of what you can expect from us there is an Environmental permitting general guidance manual on GOV.UK.

Once we have received your 'duly made' application we will ensure that all appropriate pollution prevention methods are taken, through the best available techniques, and that no significant pollution is caused. We may need to advertise your application to the wider community, to allow local residents to comment. We may also need to consult other agencies - Environment Agency, Primary Care Trust or water undertaker. What we have to do depends largely on the nature of your business. We must consider any comments made in relation to your application.

Although much of the content of any permit is set down in Government guidance, you will always be given the opportunity to comment on permit conditions. We want to work with businesses to ensure that permits reflect real working practices and only impose essential pollution controls.

Timescales for your application

Once your application is 'duly made' the legislation gives us four months to process your application (except for dry cleaners and small waste oil burners, for which we are allowed three months).

If you have made an application for a permit you can contact us at any time during the application process.

Complaints and appeals

If your application is refused, you should be clearly informed of the reasons for this. If your application is approved with conditions, you should have been able to comment on conditions when your permit was being written. If after the process you still don't agree with what the permit imposes on your business, or you are not clear why it was refused, please contact us.

If you want to challenge this decision, please contact us by writing to the address below.

You also have the legal right to appeal against a decision to the Planning Inspectorate within six months of the decision for a failed application or appeal against a condition.

What do businesses have to do once they have an environmental permit?

You must comply with any conditions attached to a permit. Your business will be regularly inspected to make sure you are complying. Failure to comply may lead to enforcement action. You have to pay an annual subsistence fee to keep your permit, which is laid down by Central Government.

What do businesses do if they want to make a change to their process/permit?

You must tell us if you intend to extend or change your operation. A change in operation means 'a change in the nature and functioning, or an extension of the installation which may have consequences for the environment'. It could entail either technical alterations or modifications in operational or management practices, including changes to raw materials or fuels used and to the installation throughput. You should tell us at least 14 days before making the change and, depending on the change, you may need to complete the Part B Variation form (PDF: 286Kb / 10 pages).

If you have any doubt over whether a particular change is substantial, please contact the Environmental Protection Team for advice.

Complaints from the public or from other businesses

The public and other businesses may complain to us about pollution from a business, or they may inform us about polluting activities. Environmental Protection Officers will investigate and, if permit conditions are being broken, enforcement action may be taken.

Public register and list of prescribed installations

A Public Register of all businesses within Eden with an Environmental Permit is kept by us. The Register includes details of each application, permit, monitoring data and any notices served.

You can view this information any time between 9.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Thursday, and between 9.30am and 4pm on Fridays, at our offices at Mansion House, Penrith.