Industrial processes have the potential to release pollution to air, land and water and cause damage to the environment and human health. For this reason, many industrial processes are required by law to operate in accordance with environmental permits that place conditions on their operation in order to minimise the release of pollutants.
It is an offence under environmental permitting legislation for any person or company to operate a permitted activity without a valid environmental permit.
The industrial activities that are controlled by the Environmental Permitting Regulations are divided into three categories and are regulated by two different bodies.
Part A1 activities - Environment Agency
Larger and more polluting industries, such as landfill sites, incinerators, power stations and metal production and processing, where emissions to land, air and water need to be controlled.
Part A2 activities - Dacorum Borough Council
Other large but less polluting industries, such as brickworks and foundries, where emissions to land, air and water also need to be controlled.
Part B activities - Dacorum Borough Council
Industries whose activities have less pollution potential than Part A1 and A2 activities, where emissions to air need to be controlled. Examples are petrol filling stations, dry cleaners and vehicle resprayers.
You can find out if you need a permit in Schedule 1 Part 2 of the Environmental Permitting Regulations.
Further guidance can be found in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' General Guidance Manual.
How to apply for a permit
Please note: if you are applying for a permit for any of the following activities you can apply by downloading, completing and returning our activity-specific permit application forms.
- Part B Dry Cleaners Application Form (PDF 276KB)
- Part B Petrol Stations Application Form (PDF 262KB)
- Part B Vehicle Re-spraying Application Form (PDF 349KB)
- Part B Concrete Crusher Application Form (PDF 233KB)
- Part B Bulk Cement Application Form (PDF 355KB)
Only a person who has control over the operation of a regulated activity may obtain or hold an environmental permit. This person is the “operator”. A permit application may be made by an agent on behalf of the operator.
Applications must be made using the appropriate forms (see above) and there will be an application fee to pay that varies depending on the activity in question. Fees are set by the Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs.
We always recommended that you contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance to discuss your application.
Application evaluation process
If, once you have made your application, we require further information then we will notify you. If you do not provide us with this information then we will withdraw your application.
All applications for new permits (except mobile plant, dry cleaners and petrol filling stations) are required to undergo a public consultation and we must consider any representations before granting the permit.
Active public consultations on applications for new permits can be found on our environmental permit public consultation page.
We will make a decision within four months of accepting your application. However, applications for dry cleaners are required to be determined within three months.
It is illegal to operate a permitted process before a permit has been granted. In addition, being granted a permit does not mean that the site to which the permit relates has planning permission for that land use. Planning permission is a separate matter and should be obtained in advance of applying for an environmental permit, or at the very least at the same time.
Right of appeal
If we don't accept your application it will be returned, along with any fee and the reason(s) why this conclusion was reached.
Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a permit, or by any condition to which a permit is subject may appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. Appeals must be lodged no later than six months from the date of decision.
Making a complaint
If you feel we have failed to provide you with a good service, or are concerned about the progress of your application, please contact us at email@example.com and we will endeavour to resolve any concerns you may have.
Once a permit is issued we will add your application to our register of environmental permits.
Routine inspections of the permitted activity will be carried out, those activities with a higher pollution potential being inspected more frequently. The inspections are carried out to ensure that the activity is being operated in accordance with the conditions of the permit.
If an operator breaches the conditions set out in a permit we can take enforcement action, which may lead to prosecution.
Existing permit holders
Varying a permit
If a permit holder decides to make a change in the operation of their installation, we must be notified 14 days prior to the change being made. If the proposed change requires any environmental permit conditions to be varied, an application for variation will have to be made.
Transferring a permit
If a permit holder decides to change the operator’s trading name, registered name, registered company address we must be notified in writing 14 days prior to the change being made.
Before an environmental permit can be wholly or partially transferred to another person, the following application form must be completed and submitted to us. Both the existing and proposed permit holders need to sign the application form.
Surrendering a permit
If a permit holder decides to stop operating a permitted activity they will have to notify us by completing a permit surrender form:
If you have a complaint about the holder of an environmental permit, please get in contact with the holder. The best way to do this is by sending a letter with proof of delivery.
If that has not worked and you are located in the UK, the Citizens Advice Bureau will be able to give you more advice.
From outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre.
Telephone: 01442 228455