Since 1 October 2013 the Environment Agency have taken the view that operators of new onshore oil and/or gas exploration or appraisal facilities require environmental permits where activities include:
- the management of extractive waste, whether or not this involves a waste facility (as a mining waste operation)
- flaring of waste gas using a flare which has the capacity to incinerate over 10 tonnes a day (as an installation)
- a water discharge activity
- a groundwater activity, such as an indirect discharge of pollutants as part of high pressure high volume hydraulic fracturing
- waste being managed that meets the thresholds for radioactivity set out in the 2010 Regulations (as a radioactive substances activity)
We now consider that the same environmental permits should be required for existing onshore oil and/or gas facilities, in addition to the permit required for crude oil unloading, handling or storage, or treatment.