Environmental Permits Consultancy Service

Environmental Permits Consultancy Service ECL

ECL provide a leading Environmental Permits Consultancy Service for UK Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR).  

Our team of expert environmental consultants have a wealth of regulatory, operational and industrial knowledge, having in combination over 90+ years’ experience working in consultancy, industry, Natural Resources Wales (formerly Environment Agency Wales) and Local Authorities. 


Environmental Permits Consultancy Service

ECL can help your business identify which Environmental Permits you require; help prepare and apply for the appropriate permit and will liaise with the relevant Environmental Agency (NRW/EA/SEPA) on your behalf. 

We are specialists in the production of all types of Environmental Permit from simple Standard Rules Environmental Permits through to complex Bespoke Installation Environmental Permits. Routinely producing permit applications for new sites, variations to existing permits, transfer, and partial transfer of permits, through to the closure and surrender of Environmental Permits. 


What Is An Environmental Permit?

An environmental permit is a legal document that authorises an organisation to carry out activities that have the potential to cause pollution or harm to the environment. 

Environmental permits are issued by regulatory bodies, such as Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in Wales, the Environment Agency (EA) in England, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) in Scotland and Local Authorities (LA), to ensure that organisations and businesses comply with current environmental regulations and to protect the environment. 

Environmental permits specify the conditions under which an organisation can operate, such as emission limits, waste disposal requirements, monitoring obligations and discharges to air, land, and water. 

Businesses that hold environmental permits must comply with the conditions outlined in the permit to ensure that they are operating within the limits of environmental legislation. 


Who Requires An Environmental Permit?

In the UK, organisations that operate certain types of installations or carry out certain types of activities are required to hold an environmental permit. 

The types of installations and activities that require environmental permits can vary depending on the industry and the potential impact on the wider environment. 

In order to legally operate, Environmental Permits and consents are required by industries such as: 

  • automotive industry 
  • energy and utilities companies 
  • production and processing of metals 
  • mineral industries – cement, glass, ceramics 
  • chemical industry
  • waste management activities – landfill, incineration, waste recovery 
  • paper and board 
  • carbon activities 
  • coating, printing and textiles 
  • dyes and inks 
  • timber 
  • food and drink 
  • farming 
  • pharmaceutical production 
  • carbon capture and storage 

Some examples of activities that may require an environmental permit include: 

  • Activities that involve the use or release of hazardous substances, such as storage, handling, and disposal of hazardous waste 
  • Large-scale industrial activities, such as chemical production, metal processing, and power generation 
  • Waste management facilities, such as landfills, incinerators, and waste transfer stations 
  • Water abstraction and discharge activities, such as water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants, and industrial effluent discharges 

What Are The UK Regulatory Requirements For Environmental Permits?

In the UK, environmental permits are issued and regulated under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016 (England and Wales) or The Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations 2012 (Scotland), which are the main regulatory frameworks for the environmental permitting system. 

The environmental permitting regime can be rather complex and requires a good understanding and knowledge of relevant technical guidance and experience of securing an agreement with regulators. The requirements for obtaining and maintaining environmental permits are set out in these regulations, and include: 

  • Permit Application – Organisations must apply for an environmental permit before starting an activity that requires one. The application must include detailed information about the activity, its potential environmental impact, and the measures that will be put in place to mitigate any environmental risks. A permit application requires the submission of technical data and information relevant to the activity on a form prescribed by the regulator, along with a payment for the application Fee. The information must be sufficiently detailed to allow the regulator to determine the application and, if considered appropriate, issue a Permit with relevant conditions.  
  • Permit – The Permit document will contain legally binding conditions that must be adhered to and which will be assessed through inspections of the activities by the regulator. Depending on the type of activity there may be requirements for Emissions Monitoring from the activity and report results to the regulator. There may be requirements to set up and maintain management systems to ensure the efficient running of operations and minimise impacts on the environment. Resource usage data may be required to be kept and reported, such as solvent consumption (for the production of a Solvent Management Plan), water consumption (for the production of a Water Efficiency Plan) and energy consumption (for the production of an Energy Efficiency Plan). The permit is issued and remains in force until such time as it is either revoked by the relevant agency or surrendered.  
  • Permit Variation – It may be necessary for a permit to be varied over time, which may be because the activities on site have changed, regulations or guidance have updated, or because a periodic review is due. If an operator proposes to change the process, then they can make an application for a permit variation with details of the proposed changes notified to the regulator. Alternatively, the regulator may decide to vary a permit because the nature of activities have changed over time. It should be noted that failure to notify the regulator of relevant changes may be deemed an offence under the regulations. If you find that your project changes or evolves, you will need to ensure that your permit changes too. We can ensure that those changes are made, and you remain compliant.  
  • Permit Transfer – An environmental permit can be transferred from one operator to another, in order to account for normal business transactions where activities change ownership or businesses buy other businesses. Permit Transfer Applications should be submitted prior to the new operator actually operating the activity.  Having a robust Environmental Management System to operate the permit is a key part of any transfer application.  
  • Permit Surrender – An operator can make an application to surrender their environmental permit, this may because the activity has ceased to operate or because the activity has reduced to a size where it no longer falls under the scope of the regulations. It should be noted that some permits will contain conditions relevant to permit surrender where certain actions must be taken before the regulator will accept the surrender application. This is particularly relevant activities where a Site Condition Report may be required to prove that the activities have not resulted in additional contamination of the land on which activity took place, or surrounding land. 
  • Ongoing Permit Compliance – Businesses that hold environmental permits must comply with the permit conditions at all times. These conditions may include emission limits, waste disposal requirements, monitoring obligations, and other measures to prevent pollution and to protect the environment.  

This compliance can take the form of: 

  • Monitoring – Organisations must monitor their activities to ensure that they are complying with the permit conditions and that they are not causing harm to the environment. Monitoring data must be reported to the regulatory authority at specified intervals. 
  • Reporting – Businesses must report any incidents or breaches of the permit conditions to the regulatory authority as soon as possible. This includes incidents that have caused or could have caused harm to the environment. 
  • Management System – all permits must be operated in accordance with a management system.  This can be suitable to the business and can be a small internal management system designed to suit the needs of the business or a fully integrated Business Management System compliant to ISO14001, 9001, 45001, 50001 etc. 
  • Fees – Organisations are required to pay fees for the application, renewal, and variation of environmental permits. The fees are based on the type of activity, the level of risk, and the administrative costs of processing the application. The non-payment of the legally required annual subsistence fees may result in the regulator revoking a permit. Non-compliance with the conditions can result in a range of action by the regulatory, from warning letters, revocation of the permit to prosecution.  

ECL can provide expert guidance on the regulatory requirements for all types of environmental permit in the UK and help your organisation obtain and maintain the necessary permits in a compliant and cost-effective manner. 


Environmental Permitting Consultancy Service ECL

What Kind of Environmental Permits Are Available?

There are several types of environmental permits available, depending on the type of activity being carried out and the potential impact on the environment. 

ECL’s expert environmental consultants can help aid you with all aspects of your businesses environmental permit: pre-application; preparation; application; variation; transfer; and/or surrender and can liaise with the appropriate Regulatory Authority (EA/NRW/SEPA/LA) on your behalf. 

Some of the most common types of environmental permits include: 

  • Standard Rules Permits: These are pre-determined permits that are designed to be simple and quick to apply for. Standard Rules Permits are available for low-risk activities such as medium combustion plants, small waste operations, storage and handling of non-hazardous materials, and certain types of mobile plant operations. If your business is not able to comply with the standard rules or your process takes place in an area which would need further care and consideration, such as near a nature reserve, then it may require a bespoke permit. 
  • Bespoke Installation Permits: These are permits that are tailored to the specific requirements of an activity. When a permit does not meet the criteria specified within a Standard Rules Permit, you may require a Bespoke Permit. These are usually required for more complex and high-risk activities such as large-scale industrial processes, waste recovery, transfer, treatment and management facilities, and water abstraction and discharge activities. How extensive the work involved here is depends on the complexity of your project. Examples include chemical production facilities, metal processing facilities, and power generation plants.  
  • Bespoke Waste Operation Permits: These are permits that are required for activities related to the storage, treatment, and disposal of waste. Waste Permits are required for a range of waste management activities, including, materials recovery facilities and waste treatment operations 
  • Water Discharge Permits: These are permits that are required for activities that discharge effluent or other substances into surface water or groundwater. Water Discharge Permits are required for activities such as sewage treatment plants, industrial effluent discharges, and agricultural activities. 

ECL can offer advice on which environmental permits would best suit your project, alongside undertaking the work needed for preparing the detailed technical information needed to support your application. We can also liaise fully with the appropriate Regulatory Authority on your on your behalf.  

We provide expert advice and support to help your organisation obtain the necessary environmental permits for your business activities. We can also help you comply with the permit conditions, through the lifetime of your permit to ensure that you are environmentally compliant. 


Your Expert Environmental Permitting Consultancy Service

The ECL team have over 90+ years of environmental permitting experience and work on behalf of a vast range of clients from individuals through to large multi-national limited companies in the private sector to public organisations. 

If you are unsure whether your business requires an environmental permit, contact ECL today to speak to one of our expert environmental permitting consultants. We can help you determine your regulatory requirements and assist you with obtaining and maintaining the necessary permits. 

ECL can provide a comprehensive service to manage the application process, from the initial pre-application liaison with the relevant Regulatory Authority to the preparation and submission of the application to handling post-submission queries and Discharge of Pre-Operational or Improvement Conditions

We can either provide total project management of the permitting application process, or work in conjunction with other project team members or technical consultants. Our environmental permitting consultants can also help your business with: 

Get in touch with us via our Enquiry Form or call us on 01443 801215 for any queries regarding our wide range of Environmental Permitting Consultancy Services or Planning Applications and we can provide you with advice, information and a free quotation.