Industrial Pollution Control

Some industrial processes have the potential to cause pollution to air, land and water. In order to prevent or minimize the potential for pollution these processes require a permit to operate.

The largest and most complex industrial processes and all waste installations are regulated by the Environment Agency. Details of the sites they regulate and how to make a complaint can be found on the GOV.UK website. The smaller, less complex processes and those that only have the potential to cause air pollution are regulated by us, under the Environmental permitting regulations 2010.

What we do

The permitting process focuses on preventing problems rather than waiting for things to get bad. Anyone who operates a proscribed process has to apply for a permit before they can begin operations. The application gives us a chance to make sure that the right controls are in place from the start. Once a permit has been granted we regularly inspect the installation, at least once a year, to ensure that they continue to comply with all the permit conditions.

If an installation is causing unacceptable level of pollution, we will work with the operator to ensure that problems are sorted out as quickly as possible. Ultimately, however, we have the power to take operators to court where they can be fined or even sent to prison if they refuse to comply with their permit.

Risk rating

During inspections we also undertake a risk assessment of the operations, this helps us identify which operators are struggling to comply and which operators are doing well so that we can target our resources where most needed. Medium and high risk processes don't necessarily produce any more pollution than low risk ones but they need more help to keep things right.

Contacting us and making complaints about sites

If you have a query or complaint about an industrial site you can contact us by e-mail or phone.

If you have an urgent problem with noise, odours or smoke outside of office hours, you can contact our Nuisance Team.

If you have a problem with a waste transfer station or any other premises regulated by the Environment Agency, you should contact them directly.