Agenda item

Update on the Local Authority Pollution Control permitting of industrial polluters

To consider the report of the Director of Communities, Housing and Environment which provides details of the local authority pollution control permitting regime and it’s operation in Leeds. 




Paul Spandler, Environmental Health Manager, Communities, Housing and Environment provided the Committee with details of the local authority pollution control permitting regime and it’s operation in Leeds. He highlighted that there is an acknowledgement that industrial sources contribute to the overall emissions of pollutants to air and these are subject to an environmental permitting regime which sets emission limits and other conditions to minimise pollution.


-  The Environment Agency regulates larger sites, such as Peckfield within the Leeds boundary.


-  The Local Authority, through the Environmental Health (EH) team, issues approximately 200 permits for other, including operators such as Allied Glass, brickworks and ferrous and non-ferrous foundries, as well as for any dust emitters such as crematoria and for petrol stations and dry cleaners. The cost of the permit depends on the complexity of the manufacturing process.


-  Once a permit is issued, the team undertakes at least one visit per year depending on the type/size of operation and request monitoring data from the operator. If an operator does not comply with the terms of the permit, enforcement action can be taken, but liaison with an operator is the first step.


-  The team also actively look for any process which may need a permit, for example a printworks may start fulfilling larger orders over a period of time which may require a permit for the resultant increased pollutants involved in the process.


-  Over time there has been a move away from emission creating processes – between 2005 to 2021, greenhouse gas emissions from industrial sources in Leeds decreased 31%


During discussions with the Committee, the following matters were considered:


The planning process – The Committee heard that the EH team would be consulted as part of the planning process when relevant applications are submitted, such as for new petrol stations, and would propose mitigation measures where appropriate.


Reporting – Members were encouraged to report sites of concern, but to also access the interactive map which showed all the active regulated process sites in Leeds City Council Prescribed Processes (


Monitoring – The type of monitoring depends on the type of process. Using Allied Glass as an example, the operator is permitted to emit a certain amount of pollutants and monitoring equipment is located on a chimney stack. The operator can see when the permitted level has been exceeded and the manager has a duty to flag it to the EH team. The EH team can also request monitoring data periodically. Should there be a period of non-compliance, action would be taken. There may be a fault or system breakdown which the operator has a duty to report and could explain the data. If there was a furnace breakdown which could be rectified in a few days, then no action would be taken, however if it could not be rectified in a reasonable time then the EH team would seek to shut that furnace down.


Incentives – Energy costs for industry uses are high so operators seek to use less energy through investing in and employing modern alternatives which use less energy or create less pollution. Additionally, permitted levels of pollution are reviewed and have reduced over time which acts an impetus to reduce pollution.


RECOMMENDED – That the contacts of the report and discussions be noted.


Supporting documents: