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.

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relating to integrated pollution control (IPC) and local air pollution control (LAPC) is not listed below as it has been replaced by pollution prevention and control (PPC) legislation.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 amended existing legislation in in a number of other areas. This includes landfill, solvent emissions and 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

Establishes 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

Transposes 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 into 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

Amends SR 2013/160. Add a new activity to Part C of section 1.1 of schedule 1 (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. Adds 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). Transposes 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 2012 PPC regulations and transposes 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 an 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.

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