Environmental Permitting Regulations

Use this information to help complete an EPR application when planning new pig housing or slurry storage facilities.

The Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR), formerly the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive, aim to reduce pollution from industrial activity by controlling emissions. Indoor pig keepers with more than 2,000 finishing pig places (above 30 kg) or 750 sow places (including served gilts) at a site are required to obtain a permit from the Environment Agency (EA).

Best available techniques

Permitted sites are required to adopt minimum standards of management practice and ‘best available techniques’ (BAT) for their production processes. This describes management practices, housing systems and techniques that minimise emissions and environmental impact.

These techniques have to be employed when planning new pig housing and slurry storage facilities on permitted installations. 

Guidance is available on:

  • Environmental management systems
  • General farm process management (Good housekeeping)
  • Nutritional management
  • Efficinet use and management of water
  • Efficient use of energy
  • Noise, dust and odour management
  • Manure and slurry management including: Storage, processing and land application
  • Practical solutions to reducing emissions including ammonia e.g. slurry cooling

The government also provides guidance on how to comply with your environmental permit for intensive agriculture. 

The format of the permits has not altered, although the application, variation and surrender forms have.

Applying for a permit 

Before starting an application, make sure you complete the pre-application checks.

Contact the local Environment Agency (EA) office to arrange a pre-application discussion. The EA's customer service team will be able to put you in touch with your local office. 

Pre-application stage

At the pre-application discussion, the Environment Officer will advise about the application process and identify nearby nature conservation sites and neighbours who will need to be considered in the environmental risk assessment. They will also advise about what should, and should, not be included in the permit.

The Environment Officer will gather the information needed for the EA to run a simple screening assessment of expected ammonia emissions using their Ammonia Screening Tool. They will produce a report which says whether the producers need to employ an experienced consultant to produce a detailed modelling assessment to assess the potential impact of ammonia emissions at nearby nature conservation sites. Producers will need to include the pre-application screening report and, if needed, detailed modelling assessment with their application. The assessment and modelling report will form part of the risk assessment.

What if emissions exceed the threshold?

If the modelling report indicates emissions from your farm exceed the allowable threshold at the nature conservation site, you will need to propose reduction techniques to reduce emissions to the allowable level. For guidance, contact your knowledge exchange manager or visit the pork knowledge library for further information.

Odour and noise

It is possible that odour and noise from your farm may impact nearby receptors such as local residents, schools, hospitals, parks or businesses. Producers will need to submit a written odour and noise management plan as part of their application where their farm is within 400 metres of sensitive receptors or if it has been the cause of odour complaints in the past. 

EPR model application templates

We have developed EPR model templates, in conjunction with the EA and Defra, that you can use and adapt for your own EPR applications. While they’re not a ‘gold-plated standard,’ they can help you to achieve a good application in a timely and cost-efficient manner. 

The templates correspond to the new Environment Agency Forms version B3.5

How to apply for an environmental permit

All supporting documents will also need to be clearly accessible on site, for farm staff, by the time of the permit issue.

Variations to a permit

Once you have a permit, if you want to change anything, such as putting up a new shed or altering drains, you will need to apply for a variation. 

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