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Consent to Discharge

Consent to discharge – what you need to know

Many activities within your organisation may require a consent to discharge, these activities can include metal finishing processes such as Anodising, Powder Coating, De-greasing and Cleaning.  Other industries can be effected such as Construction when performing groundwork activities and any vehicle washing processes including your own transportation.

If you are applying for ISO 14001:2004 certification through IMS you need to ensure that you have all of the correct permits and consents in place, if you are performing any activities that requires trade effluent to be discharged into the water system then an Environmental Permit or Exemption will be required before certification can be granted.

On the 6th April 2010 Environmental permits replaced discharge consents and groundwater authorisations and permits on.  If you already had a consent, authorisation or permit before this date it will have become an Environmental Permit automatically.

England and Wales

You must have an environmental permit or a registered exemption from the Environment Agency if you carry out any water discharge activity or groundwater activity.

Water discharge activities include:

  • discharge of poisonous or polluting matter or waste matter, trade effluent or sewage effluent into inland freshwaters, coastal waters and estuaries
  • discharging trade effluent or sewage effluent from land by a pipe into the sea
  • removal of material from the bottom, bed or channel of inland freshwaters that has built up at a dam, weir or sluice, by causing any of that material to be carried away in the water
  • cutting or uprooting large amounts of vegetation in or nearby any inland freshwaters if you do not try to remove the vegetation from the water.

Groundwater activities include:

  • discharging a pollutant directly into groundwater
  • discharging a pollutant that might indirectly enter groundwater
  • any other discharge that might cause a pollutant to enter groundwater directly or indirectly.

Groundwater is all water below the surface of the ground, in the saturation zone, ie below the water table.

Northern Ireland

If you discharge anything other than clean, uncontaminated surface water you must have a:

  • discharge consent for discharges to surface water
  • groundwater authorisation for discharges to groundwater.


If you discharge anything other than clean, uncontaminated surface water to surface water or groundwater you must have:

  • an authorisation under the Controlled Activity Regulations (CAR)
  • an integrated pollution control (IPC) authorisation or pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit.

For further information or to apply for an Environmental Permit or consent to discharge please visit www.netregs.gov.uk.

By | 2018-04-23T07:34:29+00:00 May 9th, 2010|ISO 14001, Legislation, News|0 Comments

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