Local authorities and pollution control


Under the Environmental Permitting regime local authorities are responsible for regulating certain types of industry and other activities such as dry cleaners. This is to reduce any pollution they may cause and, in particular, to help improve air quality. Businesses which operate these installations must obtain a permit.

For many installations (known as ‘Part Bs’), local authorities can deal only with their potential to cause air pollution. For some others (known as ‘A2’), they must look at other potential environmental impacts too. The Part B system is known as Local Authority Pollution Prevention and Control (LAPPC). The A2 system is Local Authority Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (LA-IPPC).

Local authorities regulate about 80 different types of installation. These include glassworks and foundries, rendering plant and maggot breeders, petrol stations and concrete crushers, sawmills and paint manufacturers. Other installations (known as ‘A1s’) are regulated by the Environment Agency. They are usually larger or more complex, such as chemical works.

If the authority agrees to issue a permit, it must include appropriate conditions. These conditions will say how pollution is to be controlled. Government guidance has been published for each type of installation on what are likely to be the best available techniques for doing that. The authority must by law have regard to that guidance.

Once a permit is issued, the operator must comply with the permit conditions (which may be varied to keep them up-to-date). Installations are inspected from time-to-time, depending on their risk-rating and if the operator fails to comply, the local authority can issue a notice requiring compliance and, if necessary, it can prosecute the operator. However, local authorities generally try to work with operators to solve problems and only use enforcement measures as a last resort.

To assist EHPs in undertaking their work on industrial pollution the CIEH supports Ricardo - AEA which runs a comprehensive package of training seminars supported by online training materials as part of its ‘EMAQ+’ package.

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