Western Power Distribution, Environmental Permits

Paul Downing

Paul Downing & Associates have been working with Western Power Distribution across a large number of depots in England and Wales to apply for environmental permits for the storage of waste insulating oils from substations and off-grid transformers.

The environmental permitting regs 2014 call for storage of waste insulating oil (over 3000l) to be subject to a standard rules environmental permit (SR2012 No15), depots storing volumes over 25000l are subject to bespoke environmental permits which require more detailed risk assessments and risk assessment input.

The work has involved negotiation with the Environment Agency, provision of contaminated land Site Condition Reports, OPRA profiles, waste management procedures, risk assessments and co-ordination with depot managers to ensure the correct information was submitted to the Environment Agency.

Environmental Permits to operate are issued by the Environment Agency or the Local Authority if they are of lesser impact on the environment.  Each Environmental Permit to operate calls for technical competence (WAMITAB) of specific staff and a set of operating conditions are required which are specific to each site for “bespoke” permits, whilst standard rules are just that – “standard” and are available on the GOV.UK website.

Waste insulating oils may contain PCB’s which are persistant and harmful to the environment and the standard rules permits make provision for testing and separate storage of oils containing these. Ongoing consultancy support and post application surveys are part of the consultancy work.


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