Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
Dust and smoke from your waste or sewage site can have a negative impact on the local environment - for example, dust from landfills and waste transfer stations and smoke from incineration.
If your business has a permit, licence or exemption you must comply with its conditions, including any conditions that control dust or smoke emissions. If you do not comply with conditions you can be fined or sent to prison.
In Northern Ireland and Scotland, if your business creates dust, grit, steam, fumes, ash or smoke that cause or are likely to cause a nuisance or harm the health of your neighbours, your local council can issue you with an abatement notice that:
Anyone affected by the nuisance, such as your neighbours, can apply to the court in Northern Ireland or the sheriff in Scotland to issue you with an abatement notice.
You can be fined if you do not comply with an abatement notice, and your local authority can take steps to stop the nuisance and charge you for its costs.
For further information, see our guidance on noise, odour and other nuisances.
You must not emit dark smoke from:
You might produce dark smoke if you burn:
Smoke is considered 'dark' if it has a shade of two or darker on a Ringlemann chart. You can find the Ringelmann chart in British Standard BS2742C.
There are exemptions from the dark smoke emission restrictions when burning certain waste materials in the open, such as:
You must still comply with any other legislation that covers these activities.
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
NEW GPP 24 now available: Stables, Kennels and Catteries
Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Read more on the DAERA website
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