Collection

Environmental permits: regulatory position statements

When the Environment Agency will not require you to get a permit to carry out certain activities that they regulate.

The Environment Agency is not currently enforcing the need for an environmental permit in specific cases for some activities that they regulate.

These regulatory position statements (RPSs) explain when you do not need to apply for a permit for those activities.

They do not apply to any other activities, even if they are under the same legislation. You may still need other permits or licences for other activities you carry out.

For example, if a RPS allows you to carry out an activity without an environmental permit for a waste operation, you may still need an environmental permit for a groundwater activity.

If the review date in a RPS issued by the Environment Agency has passed, the RPS remains in force and can be relied upon until it is removed from GOV.UK or marked as withdrawn.

If the RPS says that it expires on a certain date it cannot be relied upon and does not apply after that date.

Related information:

COVID-19 regulatory position statements

Regulatory position statements on activities that involve COVID-19 test kits and unused COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE).

Chemicals

Regulatory position statements on activities that involve chemicals.

Disposing of waste

Regulatory position statements on activities that involve disposing of waste.

Fisheries

Regulatory position statements for activities related to fisheries.

Medium combustion plants and specified generators

Regulatory position statements for medium combustion plants and specified generators.

Onshore oil and gas

Regulatory position statements on activities that involve onshore oil and gas.

Storing waste

Regulatory position statements on activities that involve storing waste.

Treating waste

Regulatory position statements on activities that involve treating waste.

Using waste

Regulatory position statements on activities that involve using waste.

Using water

Regulatory position statements on using water.

Water discharges

Regulatory position statements on water discharge activities.

Updates to this page

Published 28 March 2014
Last updated 8 July 2024 + show all updates
  1. Added 'Storing and cutting waste rubber conveyor belts for reuse: RPS 305'.

  2. Removed 'Excavated waste from utilities installation and repair: RPS 211' as it has been withdrawn. Added 'Storing and managing excavated waste from street works: RPS 299' and ‘Classify excavated waste from street, and utility works: RPS 298’ which have replaced RPS 211.

  3. Added a link to 'Storing and handling waste glass containing other wastes: RPS 292'

  4. Added 'Monitoring fugitive emissions from shredding waste upholstered domestic seating: RPS 297'.

  5. Added 'Removing batteries, plugs and power cables from WEEE at HWRCs: RPS 295'.

  6. Added a new document collection 'fisheries' and the regulatory position statement 'Using automatic hooking devices in angling: RPS 293'. Added 'Temporary discharge of water unfit for supply from water treatment and supply assets: RPS 280' to the 'water discharges' collection.

  7. Added 'Storage of non-hazardous waste collected at transport hubs: RPS 240'.

  8. Added 'Abstracting floodwater outside of licence conditions during flood events: RPS 300'.

  9. Added 'Composting and anaerobic digestion of insect manure (frass): RPS 281'.

  10. Added 'Reporting packaging data under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR): RPS 288'.

  11. Added 'Storing cans of waste paint collected by take-back schemes: RPS 267'

  12. Added 'Storing and depressurising nominally empty nitrous oxide canisters: RPS 289'

  13. Added 'Storing and treating hazardous waste wood: RPS 291'.

  14. Added 'Operating peaking combustion power plant in an emergency in winter 2023: RPS 268'.

  15. Added RPS 290 Operating an existing medium combustion plant greater than 5MWth to the medium combustion plants section.

  16. Added 2 new regulatory position statements to the storing waste section. 'Storing and treating waste clothes hangers: RPS 285' and 'Documentation for business waste at take back points: RPS 283'.

  17. Added 'Storing and using clean CRT screen glass in bound applications: RPS 188'.

  18. Added Temporary storage of waste coffee pods: RPS 282

  19. Moved the Environment Agency's COVID-19 regulatory position statements from the COVID-19 RPS document collection to the RPS document collection. This is so that all our short-term enforcement positions are in one place.

  20. Added Storing samples of waste for regulation or investigation: RPS 183.

  21. Added Storing and physically treating hazardous metal shredder residues: RPS 274 and Storing and treating hazardous waste cable: RPS 276.

  22. Added 'Emergency services and armed forces use of ELVs and other wastes: RPS 167'.

  23. Added Storing and treating waste artificial turf: RPS 279.

  24. Added 'Dewatering bentonite slurry waste in a bentonite recirculation plant: RPS 272'.

  25. Added links to 'Solidifying wet utilities excavation waste using non-waste absorbents: RPS 275', 'Managing pesticide washings by evaporation: RPS 165' and 'Storing and treating chemical toilet waste: RPS 277'.

  26. Added a link to 'Treating and using unused waste plastics for recovery: RPS 273'.

  27. Added Shredding waste upholstered domestic seating containing POPs: RPS 264, Temporary storage of waste upholstered domestic seating containing POPs: RPS 265 and Segregating waste upholstered domestic seating that may contain POPs at HWRCs: RPS 266.

  28. Added a link to 'Collecting, storing and upgrading biogas from on-farm manure and slurry: RPS 259'.

  29. Added a link to Using wetlands to improve treated effluent discharge: RPS 260.

  30. Added a link to 'Storing food waste: RPS 269'.

  31. Added a link to 'Operating peaking combustion power plant in an emergency in winter 2022: RPS 268'.

  32. Added a new regulatory position statement, 'Registering as a small packaging producer using the allocation method: RPS 230’.

  33. Added link to new RPS - 'Storing and dewatering non-hazardous iron ochre sludge from abandoned coal mines: RPS 262'

  34. Added updated version of 'Collecting and storing mixed fuel from misfuelled vehicles : RPS 9.

  35. Added the new regulatory position statement 'Treating municipal waste by aerobic digestion: RPS 257’.

  36. Added 'Storing waste onboard vehicles seized by regulators: RPS 258' under 'Storing waste.'

  37. Added 'Treating, storing, and using carbon dioxide from anaerobic digestion: RPS 255'.

  38. Added 'Burning waste in the open after an animal disease outbreak: RPS 251'.

  39. Added 'Storing treated sewage sludge: RPS 253' under 'Storing waste'.

  40. Added, 'Incinerating straw, manure and litter from an animal disease outbreak: RPS 34', 'Treating and storing litter, straw, manure and slurry from an animal disease outbreak: RPS 36', 'Disposing of waste milk from an animal disease outbreak: RPS 40' and 'Burning waste wood and particle board from an animal disease outbreak: RPS 251'.

  41. Added a new version of RPS 224 'Collect and treat waste from different sites within the same premises: RPS 224'. Removed RPS 225 as this has been withdrawn and replaced by RPS 224.

  42. Added a new RPS under 'Using waste' - Waste codes not otherwise specified: RPS 241.

  43. Added 'Spreading organic manure on agricultural land: RPS 252' under the 'Using waste' heading.

  44. Added 'Receiving hazardous waste wood at household waste recycling centres: RPS 249' and 'Hazardous waste wood from demolition and refurbishment activities: RPS 250' to the 'Storing' group.

  45. Added 'Using shredded waste carpet in equestrian surfacing: RPS 248'.

  46. Added regulatory position statement 'Transformers containing PCBs: new rules - RPS 246'.

  47. Added the latest version of 'Denaturing controlled drugs that have become waste: RPS 4' under the heading 'Treating waste'.

  48. Added Using unbound incinerator bottom ash aggregate (IBAA) in construction activities: RPS 247.

  49. We have added 'Using pine trees to restore dunes or protect river banks: RPS 236' under 'Using waste'.

  50. We have added our passive dewatering regulatory position statement under 'Using water'.

  51. We have added 'Storing waste left by former tenants in empty properties: RPS 171' under 'Storing waste'.

  52. We have added 'Temporary storage of recyclable waste at collection points by or for charities: RPS 239' under 'Storing waste'.

  53. We have added 'Treating microbiological laboratory waste on the site where it is produced: RPS 233' and 'Cleaning and sterilising waste medical instruments containing metal for recovery: RPS 160' under the heading 'Treating waste'.

  54. Added regulatory position statements: Medium combustion plant (MCP) section 5.1 Part B new permits: RPS 244; Specified generator and medium combustion plant: new permits: RPS 243; Slurry stores on permitted pig and poultry farms with less than 1% dry matter.

  55. Added 'Treating and using water that contains concrete and silt at construction sites: RPS 235' under 'Treating waste'.

  56. We have added 'Recycling target for glass in display screen equipment: RPS 242' under the heading 'Treating waste'.

  57. We have added a new version of Storing waste aerosol containers: RPS 63 to this collection.

  58. Added Standard rules permits for anaerobic digestion – point source emissions to air: RPS 192 under Treating waste.

  59. We have added 'Treating food waste where the food was served and consumed: RPS 229' under the heading 'Treating waste'.

  60. We have added 'Storing tyre shred at a port: RPS 238' under the heading 'Storing waste'.

  61. We have added 'Accepting, classifying and disposing of household packaging waste: RPS 234' under the heading 'Disposing of waste'.

  62. We have added a link to the Environment Agency's regulatory response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

  63. We have added 'Using R134a air conditioning gas from ELVs to recharge air conditioning systems: RPS 226' under the heading 'Using waste'.

  64. Added RPS 231: Waste codes for sewage sludge and sludge containing other materials to the collection.

  65. We have published 2 new RPSs: 'Collecting non-hazardous, non-food waste from different premises at a single site: RPS 224', and 'Collecting food waste from different premises at a single site: RPS 225'.

  66. We have added text to explain that the RPSs listed on this page do not apply to any other activities, even if they are under the same legislation. You may still need other permits or licences for other activities you carry out. We have also added new RPS 'Storing and treating waste plastic produced from processing WEEE: RPS 228' under 'Treating waste'.

  67. We've published a new RPS - Retaining shock absorbers and airbags in otherwise fully depolluted ELVs: RPS 195.

  68. We have published 'Storing and treating asphalt waste: RPS 157'. You do not need an environmental permit for the temporary storage, crushing or screening of asphalt waste when this is done at the same site as a Part B authorised cold mix coating operation.

  69. New RPS added under 'Using waste' - Using waste fire extinguishers for training: RPS 221.

  70. We've published a new regulatory position statement (RPS) under the heading 'Storing waste' - Temporary community waste collection points: RPS 223.

  71. New regulatory position statement on rainwater harvesting added under the heading 'Using water'.

  72. The Environment Agency has published a new RPS: Incinerating wild animal carcasses, RPS 218.

  73. 2 new RPSs added - 'Permits for schedule 25B, tranche B specified generators: RPS 219', and 'Operating a schedule 25B, tranche B specified generator for research and development: RPS 220'.

  74. 'Using whole waste tyres in construction: RPS 161' added under the section 'Using waste'.

  75. New RPS added - Land contamination pilot trials and small scale remediation schemes: RPS 215.

  76. New RPS added under 'Using waste': Spreading treated sewage effluent on land during prolonged dry weather: RPS 214.

  77. New RPS published - Storing and drying waste wood before burning in a Part B co-incinerator: RPS 213.

  78. New RPS published: Excavated waste from utilities installation and repair, RPS 211.

  79. New RPS published: Relaxing certain waste regulatory requirements for volunteers and waste sites involved in voluntary litter collection, RPS 212.

  80. New RPS published: Waste carrier, broker and dealer registration renewals due after 25 March 2018, RPS 208.

  81. Revised RPS published: Temporary dewatering from excavations to surface water.

  82. New regulatory position statement: Bioaerosol monitoring at regulated facilities - use of M9: RPS 209.

  83. Revised RPS published: Using waste tyres in escape ladders in water storage reservoirs, RPS 139.

  84. New RPS added under 'Using waste': Use of clay in slurry lagoons or irrigation reservoirs: RPS 91.

  85. New RPS: Classifying waste wood from mixed waste wood sources, RPS 207.

  86. Revised version of 'Use of manufactured topsoil: RPS 190'.

  87. RPS 168 updated: Storing waste sandbags at collection sites after a flood.

  88. Added RPS 206 Use of unbound municipal Incinerator Bottom Ash Aggregate (IBAA) in construction activities.

  89. 1. Added RPS 17 Regulation of materials under consideration for a Quality Protocol to 'using waste' group. 2. Replaced RPS 79 Waste collection authorities: contingency planning with new version.

  90. Added Regulatory Position Statement 392: Environmental permitting of existing onshore oil and/or gas facilities.

  91. Text updated for clarification: If the review date in a RPS issued by the Environment Agency has passed, the RPS remains in force and can be relied upon until it is removed from GOV.UK or marked as withdrawn. If the RPS says that it expires on a certain date it cannot be relied upon and does not apply after that date.

  92. New RPSs added: 'LPG flaring at end-of-life vehicle sites: RPS 202' and 'Use mobile plant for landspreading in England or Wales: RPS 203'. Included links to low risk waste activities.

  93. RPS 34: Disposing of infected straw, manure and litter during an outbreak of an exotic animal disease withdrawn.

  94. New RPSs added: 'Disposing of infected straw, manure and litter by incineration or co-incineration during an outbreak of an exotic animal disease: RPS 34' and 'Stack, store or treat litter, straw, manure and slurry arising from an exotic animal disease outbreak: RPS 36'.

  95. New RPS added: Treatment and disposal of invasive non-native plants, RPS 178.

  96. New RPS added to collection: Temporary storage of ELVs at a motor manufacturer’s dealership, RPS 205.

  97. Link to new regulatory position statement: Decommissioning onshore oil and gas wells drilled before 1 October 2013.

  98. RPS added: Storing catalytic converters at metal recycling sites (RPS 200).

  99. Regulatory position statement Pet cemeteries: bury and spread ash has been added to this collection.

  100. Regulatory position statement: The management of radioactive items found in scrap metal has been added to this collection.

  101. First published.