Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Check if you need an environmental permit

Do you need a permit

Business activities that may cause pollution or that pose another risk to the environment are regulated.

You must ensure that you have appropriate authorisation for the activities your business carries out. Most authorisations are issued:

  • In Northern Ireland by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), your district council or water and sewerage company.
  • In Scotland by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) or your water and sewerage company.

You may need an authorisation if you:

  • Carry out certain industrial activities, waste disposal or waste recovery activities
  • Discharge anything other than clean rainwater into surface waters or groundwater
  • Discharge trade effluent into a public sewer
  • Take water from a surface water or groundwater for your own use
  • Transport waste
  • Produce waste with hazardous properties
  • Keep, use or dispose of radioactive substances
  • Produce greenhouse gasses above certain thresholds


NetRegs: Permits and licences – an overview

Environmental News Blog

  • My Year at NetRegs, A reflection on my time as an intern with the NetRegs team at SEPA. An overview of all the activities and projects I had the opportunity to participate in during my Bright Green Environmental Placement.

  • A day with Hydrology, SEPA's hydrometry unit is responsible for around 400 gauging stations and 350 rainfall monitoring sites. River gauging stations are important as they allow river levels to be monitored so flood events can be predicted and flood warnings sent out.

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NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms