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PPC Part A activities

If you intend applying for a Part A permit or hold a permit already, this section will guide you through your obligations.

Part A activities are those listed under Part A within Schedule 1 of the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (PPC 2012).

These are generally larger industrial activities, potentially involving discharges to land, air and water, and include activities such as energy production, mineral activities, fertiliser production and certain types of waste management.

Operators of Part A activities require a PPC permit in order to be able to undertake their activity.

Before you make any application - whether for a new permit, variation, transfer or surrender – you should:

  • Check that you are required to make an application and understand the requirements of the legislation.
  • Read through the relevant application form(s) and its associated technical guidance documents.

We have produced a comprehensive guidance document which explains the regulations and the obligations of operators of Part A activities in depth.

How do I know if I need a permit?

Activities requiring a permit are listed in Schedule 1of the PPC 2012 regulations. 

If you undertake one of the listed activities and are not yet permitted, or are unsure as to whether an activity description applies to your particular enterprise, it is important that you contact your local SEPA office in the first instance. 

Our staff will assist you in determining whether you are a Part A activity, a Part B activity or are not covered by the regulations and, therefore, not required to be permitted.

How do I make a new application?

Before making any application for a Part A PPC permit, it is strongly recommended that you contact us to discuss your application. These discussions will help inform you about the permitting process, the types of information you will have to provide and the types of controls that will be included in your permit.

You must ensure you have a permit before your activity commences and comply with all the requirements of PPC 2012 when your permit is issued.

All permit application forms can be found on our application forms webpage.

Applications should be completed in conjunction with reference to our guidance for applicants.

Operators making an application should also refer to the relevant European Commission BAT Reference Documents and conclusions for your activity, as well as additional and Guidance.

New applications are subject to charges.

How do I vary, transfer or surrender an existing permit?

To vary, transfer or surrender a permit, please complete the appropriate forms on our application forms webpage and return them to the registrar at the appropriate area office, as stated on the application form, along with the relevant fee.

For help with your application, please refer to our guidance.

How long does it take to process an application?

The regulations set down statutory periods following receipt of an application, within which we will normally reach a decision:

  • New permit applications – four months.
  • An application for a variation – four months if consultation is undertaken under the terms of the regulations and three months in other cases.
  • An application for a transfer – two months.
  • An application for surrender – three months.

Permit reviews

We must ensure your permit is reviewed and continues to comply with requirements within four years of the date of publication of the Best Available Techniques (BAT) conclusions document relating to your permit.

If there is no BAT reference document available for your activity, then a periodic review of your permit will take place and any new conditions will be based on conditions including previous BAT reference documents available, any other relevant technical guidance and general principles of BAT described in schedule 3 of the PPC 2012 regulations as we determine.

We will contact permit holders before any review take place.

Public Participation

The Industrial Emissions Directive allows members of the public to become involved in the permitting process regulated by PPC 2012.

Consultation with the public can affect the way in which we determine and issue applications for permits and how we regulate some business activities. It is an important aspect for consideration when applying for or renewing a permit.

The Public Participation page of our website gives more details about the process and what operators should be aware of.

Guidance and application forms

Further relevant information on Part A of PPC 2012 is available within our guidance and application forms page.

Contact us

For more information about any aspect of Part A of PPC2012, please contact us.