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The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010

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EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations provide a consolidated system of environmental permitting in England and Wales. They replace the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/3538) (which provided a system for permitting waste operations, mining waste operations, mobile plant and installations), the system of consenting of water discharges in Chapter 2 of Part 3 of the Water Resources Act 1991 (c. 57), the groundwater permitting system in the Groundwater (England and Wales) Regulations 2009 (S.I. 2009/2902) and the system of radioactive substances regulation in the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 (c. 12).

These Regulations transpose provisions of 18 Directives which impose obligations required to be delivered through permits or capable of being delivered through permits.

Scope

Regulation 8 defines the term “regulated facility” and regulation 12 requires every regulated facility to be operated under the authority of an environmental permit.

The combined classes of “regulated facility” include (unless they are exempt or excluded) every installation, mobile plant, waste operation, mining waste operation, radioactive substances activity, water discharge activity and groundwater activity, whether or not carried on as part of the operation of another regulated facility. Those terms are defined by regulations 2(1) and in Schedules 1, 9 and 20 to 23.

The term “exempt facility” is defined in regulation 5. Schedule 2 contains procedure in relation to exempt facilities, including registration requirements.

Procedure

Part 2 and Schedules 5 and 6 contain procedure in relation to environmental permits.

Regulations 13 (grant of a permit), 20 (variation of a permit), 21 (transfer of a permit) and 25 (surrender of a permit), with Part 1 of Schedule 5, regulate permit applications. Regulation 20 also provides for variation of a permit on the initiative of the regulator. Regulation 24 allows certain permits to be surrendered by notification. Regulation 15 and Part 2 of Schedule 5 provide for compensation where a permit condition requires interference with the property rights of a person other than the operator. Regulation 17 allows more than one regulated facility on the same site, or with the same operator, to be authorised by the same permit in some circumstances; regulation 18 allows the consolidation of separate permits. Regulations 22 and 23 provide for the revocation of a permit on the initiative of the regulator. Regulations 26-30 provide for the preparation of standard rules applying to a description of regulated facility, which may be incorporated into a permit at the request of an operator. Regulation 31 and Schedule 6 provide for appeals.

Duties of the regulator

Part 3 and Schedules 7 to 23 provide for the discharge of functions by the regulator in relation to permits. Regulation 32 sets the regulator for different classes or description of regulated facility and regulation 33 allows for a change of regulator at the direction of the Secretary of State or the Welsh Ministers. Regulation 34 requires the regulator periodically to review permits and to inspect regulated facilities. Regulation 35 and Schedules 7 to 23 require the regulator to exercise its functions so as to comply with the duties set out in those Schedules. Each Schedule requires the regulator to ensure compliance with a specified Directive or Directives when exercising its functions in relation to a regulated facility falling within the Schedule’s scope.

Enforcement, powers and functions

Part 4 contains enforcement-related provision. Regulations 36 and 37 provide for enforcement notices (requiring compliance with a permit) and suspension notices (suspending the authorisation of the operation of a regulated facility). Regulation 38 contains offences and regulation 40 provides for defences. Regulation 39 sets the penalties on conviction.

Part 5 and Schedule 24 make provision for public registers to be kept by the regulator, including information which may be kept off the register in the interests of national security or because it is confidential in nature.

Part 6 confers powers on the regulator, Secretary of State and Welsh Ministers and imposes duties on the regulator. The Part includes power for the regulator to prevent or remedy pollution and to recover associated costs from the operator (regulation 57), a requirement on the Environment Agency to publish a public participation statement (regulation 59), and power for the Secretary of State or Welsh Ministers to make schemes setting fees and charges in relation to local authority functions under the Regulations.

Miscellaneous

Part 7 and Schedules 24 to 28 contain miscellaneous and transitional provision, savings, consequential amendments, revocations and repeals.

By virtue of regulation 1(1)(c), the revocations and repeals in Schedules 27 and 28 extend to England and Wales only.

Chapter 2 of Part 7 includes provision requiring public authorities to deliver obligations under the Waste Framework Directive (2006/12/EC) when making decisions on specified authorisations other than environmental permits, including planning permissions (regulation 68 and Schedule 25).

Transposition note and impact assessment

A transposition note and an impact assessment of the effect that this instrument will have on the costs of business and the voluntary sector are available from the Environment Regulation Policy Division, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Ergon House, Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2AL, and are annexed to the Explanatory Memorandum which is available alongside the instrument on the OPSI website.

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