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If you run a business in Scotland that uses organic solvents, you may require a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

If you aren’t already authorised or if you are planning a new business, you should contact SEPA for advice on whether you need a permit and how to apply. Part B PPC permits regulate smaller installations that only have the potential to cause emissions to air. You can apply online or use a paper form.

Your application may also be considered by any of the following consulting bodies:

  • the Health & Safety Executive (for sites that required a nuclear licence)
  • the relevant Health Board where the installation will operate
  • your local authority
  • Scottish Natural Heritage - if the installation may affect a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)


The permit may have specific conditions attached, depending on your operations. You must also follow any best available techniques to prevent and minimise pollution. They may also cover conditions relating to the operation of your business, the use and storage of solvents, and the keeping of records.

If you are using solvents in paints, varnishes and vehicle refinishing products, there are other rules you must comply with.

If your business is larger, you may need a Part A PPC permit. This covers dressing, printing, coating, degreasing, painting, cleaning or impregnating in plant with a consumption capacity of more than 150 kilograms per hour or more than 200 tonnes per year.