Certain industrial activities, which have the potential to cause pollution risks to human health and the environment, are regulated to ensure that there are proper controls. The Environmental Permitting (EP) legislation prohibits activities unless a permit has been obtained from the appropriate regulator, either the Environment Agency or the Local Authority. A permit allows an activity to be carried out with certain conditions and gives clear instructions on how the environment must be protected.
Permits cover water, land and air pollution, radioactive contamination and other environmental hazards. The standards of protection take account of the nature of the hazard, the cost and the risks to the environment and human health.
The activities controlled by the EP regime are divided into three categories and are regulated by two different bodies.
Part A(1) – Environment Agency
The Environment Agency regulates what is considered to be the most polluting of the three industrial categories, A(1) activities. These are regulated for emissions to land, air, water and other environmental considerations. Examples of A(1) activities are landfill sites and hazardous waste incinerators.
Part A(2) and B – Local Authority (North Hertfordshire District Council)
Local Authorities regulate A(2) activities, as well as the lesser polluting Part B activities, which are regulated for emissions to air only. Examples of Part B activities include petrol stations, dry cleaners and vehicle re-sprayers. The charging scheme, which is set by Government and regularly reviewed, follows the ‘polluter pays’ principle by linking the charge to the regulatory effort required to monitor the installation. It aims to reward businesses that seek to minimise the likelihood of causing pollution issues by reducing the annual subsistence charge.
The Council carries out regular inspections on permitted installations to ensure it is being operated within the terms of the permit.
If you want to make a complaint about an industrial business, please contact us.