Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Permits

Pollution prevention and control (PPC) regulates certain types of business, such as those carrying out:

  • power generation
  • manufacturing and other industrial activities
  • waste management activities
  • intensive pig and poultry farming
  • activities involving solvents
  • the operation of a landfill site.


Additional resources


What is PPC

If you carry out an activity covered by the PPC regime, you must have a PPC permit from your environmental regulator or local council and comply with the conditions it contains.

In Northern Ireland PPC Part A and PPC Part B activities are regulated by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA). Part C activities are regulated by your Local Council.

In Scotland PPC Part A and PPC Part B activities are regulated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

If you have a PPC Part A, it controls a broad range of environmental impacts including:

  • emissions to air, land and water
  • energy efficiency
  • waste reduction
  • raw materials consumption
  • noise, vibration and heat
  • accident prevention
  • the condition of your site.

Part B permits, and in Northern Ireland Part C permits, control emissions to air from affected businesses.

In Scotland a number of part B activities have been identified as presenting a low risk to the environment. Operators carrying out these activities will be expected to follow the guidance provided by SEPA. Guidance is in place for two activities, more are expected to follow.

SEPA: Petrol Vapour Recovery (petrol filling stations)

SEPA: Dry Cleaners

Who regulates PPC?

Contact your environmental regulator

Contact your local council

Do you need a PPC permit?

To find out if any of your activities or processes are regulated by the Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) regime you can:

Directly associated activities

If your site is covered by a PPC permit, it is possible that activities that wouldn't usually require a PPC permit will be covered by conditions in the permit. These are called directly associated activities. An activity can be 'directly associated' if it could cause pollution and there is a technical connection with the activity directly licensed by the permit.

When you are applying for a PPC permit, your environmental regulator will identify any directly associated activities as part of determining the permit. It is your responsibility to advise the regulator of any later, significant changes.

If you are unsure whether you need a PPC permit, check with your environmental regulator or local council.

Contact your environmental regulator

Contact your local council

PPC permits - what do you need to do?

How do you apply for a PPC permit?

If you need to apply for a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit you should contact your environmental regulator or, for a PPC part C permit in Northern Ireland, your local council.

Contact your environmental regulator

Contact your local council

PPC permit holders

If you already hold a PPC permit, you must comply with its conditions. If you are planning any changes to your operations, you must contact your environmental regulator well in advance of making any such change. Your environmental regulator will tell you whether your permit needs to be changed.

New sites and mobile plant

If you plan to operate a new site or mobile plant that carries out activities regulated by PPC, you must apply to your environmental regulator or local council for a PPC permit. You must not start operations before you have your permit.

If you operate mobile plant that is permitted in Scotland and that you intend to operate in England, as an interim position, you will still be allowed to do this even though England operates under the environmental permitting regime.

PPC permits legislation

This page provides links to key pieces of relevant environmental legislation. Most of the links will direct you to the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) or Statute Law Database (SLD) websites.

It is important to remember that different parts of the UK have variations in environmental laws.

If you are implementing an environmental management system (EMS) for your business, you can use this list of key legislation to start compiling your legislation directory. Remember to check other environmental topics for legislation that may relate to your business activities.

Environmental management systems (EMS) and environmental reports

Library of topics

Please note that legislation relating to integrated pollution control (IPC) and local air pollution control (LAPC) is not listed below as it has been replaced by pollution prevention and control (PPC) legislation.

Recent PPC legislation in Northern Ireland and Scotland has included the requirements of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). This has replaced existing legislation in in a number of other areas. This includes landfill, solvent emissions and waste incineration legislation.


Solvent emissions legislation

Waste incineration legislation

Northern Ireland

Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 SI 3153 (including amendments up to 2004)

Covers several environmental issues, including pollution prevention control, assessment and management of air quality, and designation of areas of special scientific interest (ASSIs).

Pollution Prevention and Control (Industrial Emissions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 SR 453

Establish a pollution control regime for certain installations or mobile plants. Sets out a permitting regime based on Best Available Techniques for regulating installations and activities. Transpose the IED and replace existing Pollution Prevention and Control legislation as listed the schedule 17 of the Regulations.

Pollution Prevention Control (Industrial Emissions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013 SR 160

Transpose Directive 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control (Recast)).The Regulations revoke 18 sets of existing regulations relating to industrial emissions and consolidate all the provisions of the Industrial Emissions Directive in to a single set of regulations. They control the operation of any installation or mobile plant carry out any of the activities listed in Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Regulations.

Pollution Prevention (Industrial Emissions) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 SR304

Amend 2013/160. Add a new activity to Part C of section1.1 of schedule1 (combustion activities), namely burning any fuel or fuels in a combination of boilers, furnaces, turbines or compression ignition engines on the same site which, when added together, have a net rated thermal input exceeding 20 megawatts but less than 50 megawatts, which would not otherwise require a permit, to have a permit to operate. Add a new schedule 13A, which provides for a cost benefit analysis to be carried out in some circumstances.

Pollution Prevention and Control (Industrial Emissions) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 SR309

Amends the 2013 PPC Regulations to take account of EU Directive 2014/99/EU, which sets two new standards for equipment used for Stage II petrol vapour recovery.

Pollution Prevention and Control (Industrial Emissions) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2018 SR33

Amend the PPC (IE) Regulations 2013 to introduce provisions relating to medium combustion plants (MCP). Transpose the EU’s MCP Directive, which lays down rules to control emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and dust from MCPs.



Control of Volatile Organic Compounds (Petrol Vapour Recovery) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 SSI 512

Exempts service stations with an annual throughput of less than 500m3 from requirements for an authorisation under PPC Part B activities and from controls on volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from storing and distributing petrol.

The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2017

These Regulations provide that no Medium Combustion Plant (MCP) brought into operation after 20th December 2018 can operate without a permit or being registered. In relation to MCPs already in operation at that date:

  • those with a rated thermal input above 5 MW are brought within the permitting regime from 1st January 2024
  • those with a rated thermal input of 1 to 5 MW are brought within the permitting regime from 1st January 2029.

MCPs are required to comply with emission limit values for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and fine particulate matter, subject to specified exceptions.

The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Amendment Regulations SSI 2016/39 

Amends the 2012 PPC Regulations to take account of Commission Directive 2014/99/EU concerning the capture systems for petrol vapour at refuelling sites.

The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2014 No. 267

These regulations amend the PPC regulations 2012 and transpose Directive 2012/27/EU (The energy efficiency directive). The new Schedule 1A applies to specified installations and requires a cost-benefit analysis to be carried out for the purposes of the Energy Efficiency Directive. There is also a requirement for new permits for solvent activities to include a requirement to inform SEPA of and incident or accident that could significantly affect the environment.

Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (SSI 2012/360)

Sets out a system to control pollution from any installation or mobile plant carrying out specified activities through permits, inspections and control of emissions. Covers the inclusion of best available techniques (BAT) and standard rules in permits. Replaces (revokes) previous PPC legislation.


Further information

The current legislation lists provide links to key environmental statutes and regulations.

Current environmental legislation

For further information on relevant legislation contact your environmental regulator or local council.

Contact your environmental regulator

Contact your local council

List of PPC Activities

Section of Schedule 1 Processes falling under IPPC or LAPPC
For details of processes between IPPC and LAPPC, refer to Schedule 1 of your local PPC Regulations itself or contact your trade organisations or your environmental regulator.
Scotland Northern Ireland
1 Energy industry
1.1 Combustion activities A B A - C
1.2 Gasification, liquefaction and refining activities. (Scotland: Refining mineral oil and gas, operating coke ovens and coal gasification and liquefaction) A B A B C
2 Production and processing of metals
2.1 Ferrous metals A B A B C
2.2 Non-ferrous metals A B A B C
2.3 Surface treating metals and plastic materials A B A B -
3 Minerals industry
3.1 Production of cement and lime A B A B C
3.2 Activities involving asbestos A B A B -
3.3 Manufacture of glass and glass fibre A B A B -
3.4 Production of other mineral fibres A - A - -
3.5 Other mineral activities A B A B C
3.6 Ceramics production A B A B C
4 Chemical industry
4.1 Organic chemicals A B A B -
4.2 Inorganic chemicals A - A - -
4.3 Chemical fertiliser production A - A - -
4.4 Plant protection products and biocides (Scotland: biocide production) A - A - -
4.5 Pharmaceutical production A - A - -
4.6 Explosives production A - A - -
4.7 Manufacturing activities involving ammonia A - A - -
4.8 Storage of chemicals in bulk - B - B -
5 Waste management
5.1 Disposal of waste by incineration A B A B C
5.2 Disposal of waste by landfill A - A - -
5.3 Disposal or recovery of hazardous waste other than by incineration or landfill A - A - -
5.4 Disposal or recovery of non hazardous waste A - A - -
5.5 Temporary and underground strorage of waste A - A - -
6 Other activities
6.1 Paper, pulp and board manufacturing activities A - A - -
6.2 Carbon activities A - A - -
6.3 Tar and bitumen activities A B A B -
6.4 Coating activities, printing and textile treatments A B A B C
6.5 Manufacture of dyestuffs, printing ink and coating materials A B - B C
6.6 Timber activities A B A - C
6.7 Activities involving rubber A B A B C
6.8 Treatment of animal and vegetable matter and food industries A B A B C
6.9 Intensive farming A - A - -
6.10 Carbon capture and storage A - A - -
6.11 Waste water treatment A - A - -
7 Solvent Emissions Directive (SED) activities* - B - - C


*SED activities include:

  • heatset web offset printing
  • publication rotogravure
  • other rotogravure, flexography, rotary screen printing, laminating or varnishing units
  • rotary screen printing on textiles or cardboard
  • surface cleaning
  • vehicle coating
  • coil coating
  • other coating activities, including metal, plastic, textile, fabric, film, paper, wood and leather coating
  • winding wire coating
  • dry cleaning
  • wood impregnation
  • footwear manufacture
  • wood and plastic lamination
  • adhesive coating
  • manufacture of coating preparations, varnishes, inks and adhesives
  • rubber conversion
  • vegetable oil and animal fat extraction and vegetable oil refining activities
  • manufacturing of pharmaceutical products.

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