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Environmental permitting

Inspection and regulation

Industries with the potential to cause pollution are risk-rated and then placed into one of three classes - A1, A2 and part B.

A1 installations, which have the greatest potential risk to the environment or human health, are regulated by the Environment Agency. Those regarded as low risk are classed as A2 and regulated by the local authority. Part B's are also regulated by the local authority and are considered even less polluting, having only limited effect on air quality.

Information on installations regulated by the Environment Agency:

If you use solvents or solvent-based materials or cleaners, you are required by law to have a permit to operate, even if it is not your main activity. For some of these activities there is a threshold, but if in doubt contact St Helens Council who will be pleased to give advice and all the help we can.

It is the operator's responsibility to notify the regulator that they are carrying out an activity that requires permitting and to notify the local authority if the operator changes. Failure to do this could result in a fine. 

If you think your business needs an A1, A2 or Part B permit, please email us at We aim to respond to enquiry emails within 10 working days.

Fees and charges for A1, A2 or Part B permits can be found on the GOV.UK website.

A list of businesses with a permit can be found below.

List of permits - March 2022 (PDF) [179KB] (opens new window)

Investigating pollution incidents

It may not always be clear who is responsible for investigating pollution incidents. However, if the pollution is entering or is from a watercourse or the incident, including noise and odour complaints, is from an A1 installation, waste or recycling site and sewage treatment plant, then contact the Environmental Agency on 0800 80 70 60.

For other incidents or clarification, please contact us on 01744 676789 or e-mail