Why are Environmental Permits in place?
An Environmental Permit allows you (the Operator) to carry out a variety of activities which may have an impact on the environment and human health. A permit is in place to minimise an operation’s impact on human health, quality of life and the environment.
Caulmert secures many Civils & Structures packages where we are required to submit models to Main Contractors who will undertake their own clash detection. Instead of submitting individual models, we like to iron out any clashes internally first.
Many activities that can cause pollution are prohibited unless authorised by a permit. The permit gives clear instructions on how the environment must be protected from this activity and Operators are required to follow the conditions of their permit. Regulators such as The Environment Agency (EA) carries out thorough checks on Operators to ensure that they are complying with their permit and continuing to be a competent Operator. These are carried out via an assessment, inspection or attending an incident which will be followed-up with a completed Compliance Assessment Report (CAR). Your CAR records the site inspection and documents anything you are doing that does not comply with your permit and instructions on how to correct this.
A CAR form also records any non-compliance identified during the site visit, with each non-compliance scored and categorised. There are 4 risk categories of a non-compliance, where each risk category is scored:
Risk 1 = 60 points = Major impact on human health, quality of life or the environment
Risk 2 = 31 points = Significant impact on human health, quality of life or the environment
Risk 3 = 4 points = Minor impact on human health, quality of life or the environment
Risk 4 = 0.1 points = Associated with no impact on human health, quality of life or the environment
All non-compliances identified during the site assessment are recorded and should be provided with an explanation of:
- What is wrong
- The actions to correct the problem
- Date of when the actions should be completed
- What enforcement action (if any) the Regulator may take in response to the non-compliance
Making sure you are compliant.
It is important to make sure you, as the Operator, are compliant with the conditions of your permit. Your Regulator, whether it is The Environment Agency (EA), Natural Resources Wales (NRW) or Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) will carry out site inspections and assessments to ensure you are complying with your environmental permit.
Any activities or incidents which lie outside of your permit can result in a breach and the permit being revoked if the EA decide you are not a suitable Operator. You may also be issued with a fine.
Prevent a breach of your Environmental Permit.
- Maintain healthy communication with your Regulator – they are there to help you. Ask them if you have any questions or queries with your permit. If you think you have breached the conditions of your permit, or think you are going to breach your permit, it is important to let your Regulator know so they can advise you on the next steps.
- Understand your permit requirements – knowing what your permit says and means is vital to your site activities. Understand the restrictions on your permit, e.g. the amount of waste you can accept or the type of waste allowed on your site.
- Make sure your staff are aware of their role and responsibilities and the importance of maintaining compliance with your Environmental Permit. Take an opportunity to carry out a Tool-Box Talk on your site permit and what it means to your company and the site.
Breaching your Environmental Permit?
The Regulator will take action, which may include:
- Giving advice
- Changing your permit conditions
- Serving an Enforcement Notice
- Serving a Suspension Notice
- Prosecution (if in the public interest)
How can Caulmert Limited help?
Our team has many years of Environmental Permitting experience. If you have received a non-compliance from the Regulator, we can:
- Provide comprehensive and technical permitting advice
- Aid in the response of a non-compliance from the Regulator
- Liaise directly with the Regulator to assist you
- Work with you and the Regulator to correct the non-compliance action and bring the site back into compliance.
For help with your Environmental Permit, contact Andy Stocks on firstname.lastname@example.org