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Environmental Permitting - Aspects of Regulation & Responsibilities of a Permit Holder

General

The holder of a Permit must ensure that operations are carried out in compliance with the conditions of that Permit, and, that any other requirements of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 are met. Failure to do so is likely to constitute an offence. Details of all offences, and the associated penalties, are given below.

Changes to the Installation

As described within Chapter 24 of General Guidance manual on Policy and Procedures, it is advisable for an operator to notify the the Department at least 14 days in advance of any changes in equipment, location, extent or nature of the permitted activities where this may have consequences for the environment. Where these changes would require variation of the permit conditions, the operator may make an application application for the variation.

Transfer of Permits

Under Regulation 21, the Permit holder may transfer the operation of the permitted installation or mobile plant to another person, again an application must be made to the Department.  Any company or person who takes control of the installation or mobile plant without making such a transfer would be operating without a Permit which would be a contravention of Regulation 12.

Fees and Charges

In order to finance the Regulatory Regime, the operator of an installation would be invoiced for the Permit subsistence fee at the beginning of each financial year; should the operator wish, this may be paid by four, quarterly instalments. However, due to the additional administration required, an additional fee would be charged.

All installations and mobile plant are subject to a risk assessment, see below, and the permit subsistence fee is dependent upon the risk rating of the installation/mobile plant. The lower the risk rating, the lower the fee payable.

The Department may revoke the Permit where the subsistence fee is not paid. Any applications, for example, to obtain or to transfer a permit or to substantially vary the permit conditions, will also require the payment of a fee.

The current scales of fees and charges are available to download via the appropriate link below.

Risk Assessment

All operators are risk assessed, at least anually, using the methodology developed by Defra.

This risk assessment generally considers:

  • the nature of the permitted activities, 
  • the progress with upgrading to the standards described in the relevant process or sector guidance notes, 
  • the area surrounding the installation (i.e. the proximity and type of receptors), 
  • any local air quality issues that the installation may contribute to, 
  • the scale of previous compliance, 
  • an assessment of installation record keeping, preventative maintenance and emissions and process monitoring,
  • an assessment of management and training systems.

The overall score obtained by the risk assessment determines the number and type of programmed visits that will be made to each installation over the following year, and, the subsistence fee payable.

Permit Reviews

As described within Chapter 26 of the General Guidance Manual on Policy and Procedures, the legislation requires that Permits are reviewed periodically in order to ensure that the conditions are appropriate following changes within the installation, new information on environmental effects, the availability of new pollution control techniques and other relevant issues. While no minimum review frequency is specified, six years is considered to be appropriate for the majority of installations, although a longer period may be appropriate for some sectors, such as dry cleaning.

Enforcement

Whilst the Department will attempt to foster a good working relationship with operators, there should be no doubt that if the appropriate response to the Department’s informal approach is not forthcoming, the Department will either issue formal enforcement notices, or institute legal proceedings as deemed appropriate.

All enforcement action will be taken in accordance with the Department’s Enforcement Policies which are available to download using the link below.

Offences

Offences under the Environmental Permitting (England & Wales) Regulations 2010 are listed in Regulation 38 and are summarised below:

  1. operation of an installation/mobile plant without a permit;
  2. failure to comply with, or to contravene a permit condition;
  3. failure to comply with the requirements of an enforcement, prohibition or suspension notice;
  4. failure to supply, without reasonable excuse, information sought under regulation 60, making false or misleading statements, making false entries in any record, or, forgery and deception in relation to documents;

Where an offence is committed, prosecutions can be taken against a body corporate, an individual or both.

In accordance with regulations, the maximum penalties for offences under regulation 38
1), 2), or 3) are a fine not exceeding £50,000 and/or up to 12 months imprisonment per offence for a summary conviction (in a Magistrates court); or, an unlimited fine and/or up to five years imprisonment for conviction on indictment (in a Crown court).

The maximum penalties for offences under regulation 38 (4) are the statutory maximum fine on summary conviction (not exceeding £5,000), or, a fine and/or up to two years imprisonment on indictment.

Public Registers

Local authorities are required to maintain public registers containing information on all the LA-IPPC and LAPPC installations and mobile plant they are responsible for. Local authorities’ registers must also hold information on installations and mobile plant in their areas that are regulated by the Environment Agency.

These registers are held by the Environmental Protection Section at the Civic Offices, Merrial Street, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffs, ST5 2AG and are available for viewing, free of charge, between the hours of 9.00 am to 5.00 pm on Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). Members of the public do not have to give a reason for viewing the register.

Copies can be made of any entry on a register on payment of the relevant charge. These charges are set annually and are available from the Environmental Protection Section Team Leader.

A list of all past and present sites which have held LA-IPPC and LA-PPC permits can be downloaded by clicking upon the appropriate link.

The Borough Council holds a copy of the Environment Agency public register for installations operating within the Borough. This register can be viewed at the Civic Offices or via the Environment Agency's Public Register site.

Information Held on the Public Register.

Subject to exclusions of commercially confidential information and information affecting national security, registers must contain the information set out in Schedule 19 to the Environmental Permitting Regulations.

In summary this includes:

  • Applications for a permit;
  • Notices asking for information and responses to such;
  • representations in response to public consultation (unless requested not to by the person responding);
  • statutory consultee responses to applications or applications for variations;
  • copies of current permits;
  • notifications of changes in the operation of installations;
  • all applications for variations, transfers or surrenders of permits;
  • details of variations, transfers and surrenders granted;
  • details of any revocations of Permits;
  • enforcement or suspension notices and any notices withdrawing these;
  • notice of any appeals including the grounds of the appeal, relevant correspondence between the appellant and the regulator, and the decision/notice which is the subject of the appeal;
  • representations in response to appeal (unless requested not to by the person
    responding);
  • the appeal decisions and any accompanying reports;
  • details of convictions, formal cautions; to include the name of the person, date of conviction/caution, and (where appropriate) penalty and name of court. This
    requirement does not override the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 regarding spent conditions, and authorities must take care to remove relevant entries at the appropriate time;
  • monitoring data obtained by the authority from its own monitoring, or sent to the authority on accordance with a permit condition or regulation 60 notice. If any monitoring information is omitted because it is commercially confidential, the authority must put a statement on the register indicating whether relevant permit conditions are being complied with, based on the withheld information;
  • any other information supplied by the operator in compliance with regulation 60, or a variation, enforcement or suspension notice;
  • any report published by the local authority relating to assessment of environmental consequences of the installation;
  • any directions given by the Secretary of State other than under regulation 47;
  • details of all income and expenditure relating to the pollution control function for each financial year.

Further Information.

The Environmental Permitting Pages contain a great deal of information relating to all aspects of the aspects of Environmental Permitting regulated by the Local Authority.

However, should you be unable to find the information you require, or should you wish to discuss any particular issue, please contact the Environmental Protection Section using the points of contact given below.

Contact details:

You can call us Monday to Friday between 8.30am & 5.00pm on tel. (01782) 742590.

All correspondence should be sent to the following address:

Executive Director - Regeneration & Development, Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council, Civic Offices, Merrial Street, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffs, ST5 2AG.

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