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Environmental LawText, Cases & Materials

Environmental Law: Text, Cases & Materials (2nd edn)

Elizabeth Fisher, Bettina Lange, and Eloise Scotford
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date: 29 February 2024

p. 41913. Pollution Control Permittinglocked

p. 41913. Pollution Control Permittinglocked

  • Elizabeth Fisher, Elizabeth FisherProfessor of Environmental Law, Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford
  • Bettina LangeBettina LangeAssociate Professor of Law and Regulation, University of Oxford
  •  and Eloise ScotfordEloise ScotfordProfessor of Environmental Law, UCL


This chapter provides a basic overview of pollution control in England and Wales. It considers the nature of pollution, the evolving history of pollution control regulation, and the main mechanism for implementing pollution control—environmental permitting. Environmental permitting is a classic form of ‘command-and-control’ regulation, which is used in many areas of environmental regulation (water regulation, waste regulation, integrated pollution control etc). Moreover, England and Wales has adopted an innovative approach to permitting, bringing together many different types of environmental permits into a single, integrated scheme under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016. This administrative integration of permitting was designed to improve regulatory efficiency and certainty for operators and also to better coordinate environmental controls. This chapter provides an overview of this permitting scheme, which operates in most of the pollution control regimes covered in the chapters of Part IV.

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