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Pollution

To follow any changes to this service, visit the Council Service Updates page.

Air Quality

Good air quality is essential for human health, quality of life and the environment. Pollution may have harmful effects, particularly for young children, the elderly and people with existing respiratory problems.

Local Authorities have a duty to review and assess local air quality in accordance with the Environment Act 1995. Local Authorities are required to review their current air quality and assess whether any locations are likely to exceed National Air Quality Objectives. Where the Objectives are unlikely to be met an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) is declared and an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) is produced to help bring about improvements in local air quality.

North Lincolnshire Council operate a dedicated air quality website where real time pollution levels and historical data can be viewed. This website also host our Air Quality reports.

Contaminated Land

Throughout the UK, there are thousands of sites that have been contaminated by previous historic uses. Often this is associated with industrial processes or activities that have now ceased, but where waste products or remain they may present a hazard to the human health and the environment.

The term ‘contaminated land’ covers a wide range of situations where land is contaminated in some way. In a small number of these situations where certain criteria are met, a site might be determined as ‘contaminated land’. Land which has been defined as “Contaminated Land” has a strict legal definition set out in Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The council has produced a guide to submitting planning applications to develop land that may be contaminated [PDF, 973Kb].

This sets out what sort of information we will need from you. It also explains how we will assess the information. If you are employing a consultant you should give them a copy of this guidance. This is to make them aware of what information is needed and when.

If you are developing a single residential property,  a guide is available [PDF, 120Kb] to assist with completing a planning application form.

The council has also produced a document providing guidance on the verification for cover systems  [PDF, 1Mb]. If you are employing a consultant you should also give them a copy of this document.

Where ground gas protection systems are required as part of a development, the guidance document verification requirements for gas protection systems  [PDF, 4Mb] will help developers demonstrate to the local planning authority that these systems have been designed, installed and verified to adequate standards.

North Lincolnshire Council is the primary enforcing authority for contaminated land within its area. The statutory regime for dealing with the inherited legacy of industrial activity in the form of land pollution was introduced on 1 April 2000 under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Under Part 2A (Section 78) of the Act, the council has a duty to inspect the area to identify contaminated land.

As the first stage in this inspection process the council must publish a strategy for inspection [PDF, 1Mb].

The strategy sets out a detailed five-year inspection programme. This aims to identify areas of potentially contaminated land where historical industrial activity may have left pollution in, on or under the land.

Under Section 78 (R) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 the council is required to hold a register of contaminated land within its area. The register held by North Lincolnshire Council can be found at our Record of Determinations page.

We are legally required to make details of any land we have determined as ‘contaminated land’ publically available, as defined under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 Part 2A.

The record of determination identifies the location and boundary of the contaminated land and provides an explanation, understandable as far as possible to non-specialists. It also provides the reasoning behind the determination and how the relevant sections of government guidance have been followed.

This information is being provided in accordance with section 5.17 and 5.18 of the Defra Contaminated Land Statutory Guidance published in April 2012.

North Lincolnshire Council has exercised its legal powers to carry out a detailed inspection of land at Midland Road Industrial Estate and adjoining public open space in order to identify whether or not the land is legally contaminated as defined under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 Part 2A.

The industrial estate is known to be built over an old landfill site and there were local accounts of landfill gas odours inside buildings that required further investigation.

The detailed inspection of the Midland Road former landfill was designed and then assessed in line with central government statutory guidance. The statutory guidance sets out how local authorities should identify and assess which land is contaminated land and which is not.

The guidance advises that Category 1 and 2 land should be capable of meeting the definition of contaminated land due to the fact that there is a Significant Possibility of Significant Harm (SPOSH) to human health whilst Category 3 and 4 land would not meet this definition and therefore would not be capable of being defined as contaminated land.

The council has used these Categories in order to produce different leaflets about the findings of the detailed inspection. These include:

The council is communicating directly with owners of Category 1 and 2 properties in order to ensure that the risks associated with landfill gas are properly addressed.

If you want to understand in more detail the background to the detailed inspection of the former landfill then the following reports should be viewed or you can discuss the matter further directly over the telephone by ringing 01724 297633.

Site Investigation [PDF, 8Mb] was undertaken by North Lincolnshire Council in order to obtain government funding to undertake a detailed inspection of the land.

Contamination Risk Assessment [PDF, 24Mb] was carried out by the council’s contractors GEOCORE and designed by the councils contaminated land consultants EPG Ltd.

Preliminary Risk Assessment (PRA) [PDF, 477Kb] of the ground investigation report data was carried out by the council’s specialist landfill gas/ contaminated land consultants EPG Ltd. The appendices for this report are on separate PDFs these are; Appendix 4.3 and 4.4 [PDF, 4Mb], Appendix 4.8 to 4.12 [PDF, 7Mb], Appendix 5 and 6[PDF, 4Mb], Appendix 7 and 8 [PDF, 8Mb], and Appendix 10 [PDF, 2Mb].

A detailed Asbestos Risk Assessment [PDF, 339Kb] was carried out by the council’s specialist asbestos contaminated land consultants LQM Ltd.

Industrial Emissions

Certain businesses are required to ensure that they are controlling the amount they pollute.

In the UK the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016, set out which businesses are required by law to be regulated. These businesses will need an environmental permit to operate. If they operate without a permit they are breaking the law and can be prosecuted.

The legislation provides a framework for operators of processes listed in Schedule 1 of the Regulations to apply to the local council or the Environment Agency to obtain a permit to carry out the activities. These activities are classified as follows:

The current fees and charges for the financial year 2017-18 are available for Part A2 Installations and Part B Installations.

  • Part A (1): Large, potentially highly polluting activities such as British Steel and Koppers. These are regulated by the Environment Agency, and enquiries about these should be directed to them.
  • Part A(2): Medium scale processes. These are regulated by local councils for various aspects of the operations including emissions to land, water and air, energy and raw materials usage, waste minimisation, accident prevention and noise emissions.
  • Part B: Smaller and less energy intensive activities. Again regulated by local councils but the scope is restricted to emissions to air.

Any person operating a process for which a permit is required must submit an application, with a fee, to the council or Environment Agency. They will then issue an environmental permit in accordance with Government guidance, which will include a number of conditions.

The operator of the process must then comply with the permit conditions and it is the role of the Environmental Health (Commercial) Team to inspect the processes to ensure compliance. The council can prosecute operators who do not comply with the conditions of the permit.

North Lincolnshire Council holds a public register of Part B and A2 installations regulated by the council.

The council also holds a public register for certain Environment Agency regulated sites within North Lincolnshire. This information does not include comprehensive monitoring data and is only held by the council in paper format at Church Square House, Scunthorpe. If you wish to view this information, please contact the Environmental Health (Commercial) Team.  Further information regarding Environment Agency public registers can be found on the Environment Agency website.

View the register online

If you operate a business that involves any of the following activities you should contact the Environmental Health (Commercial) Team who will be able to advise you on the correct course of action.

  • Gasification
  • Combustion activities (not waste oil)
  • Waste oil burners (0.4-3MW)
  • Storage at terminals
  • Service stations
  • Iron and steel/ferrous metals
  • Non-ferrous metals
  • Cement and lime
  • Asbestos
  • Other minerals
  • Glass
  • Ceramics
  • Organic and inorganic chemicals
  • Acid activities/surface treating of metals and plastics
  • Bulk chemicals
  • Incineration (not cremation)
  • Cremation
  • Di-isocyanate
  • Tar and bitumen
  • Coating (not dry cleaners)
  • Dry cleaners
  • Coating manufacture
  • Timber
  • Rubber
  • Animal and plant Treatment/animal and vegetable treatment
  • Waste oil burners (under 0.4 MW)

Application forms for new permits, variations, transfers or surrenders can be requested by contacting: environmental.health@northlincs.gov.uk

Environmental Information and Enforcement Policy

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 allows members of the public to request access to environmental information held by the council.

If you are enquiring about a plot of land then the following minimum information will be required:

  • a plan of the site clearly showing the boundary
  • a full postal address
  • where possible a 12 figure grid reference
  • a list of questions you want to ask about the land and any surrounding land
  • if the query relates to the potential impact other adjacent sites may have on the site you are enquiring about, then you will need to specify a maximum zone of influence for your query. This might be a zone of 250m, 500m or 1km for example.

Once a request for environmental information has been received, we will look at the request and determine whether:

  • the information requested can be disclosed
  • the information requested is already held by the council in list form or as part of a public register which would not attract a charge.

If the information can be disclosed and is not part of an existing list or Public Register a charge will be made as set out below:

  • first hour (minimum charge) £25
  • each subsequent hour £25.

Requests can be made via the Self Service Portal or via the Contact Centre. Upon receipt of payment, we will have 20 days to respond to the request for information.

Public Register information is free to access. North Lincolnshire Council holds a public register of Part B and A2 installations regulated by us. The Environmental Permit Public Register can be viewed on our Environmental Permit page.

Information about land which is Contaminated Land can be found in our Contaminated Land Determinations accordion above.

Other information is available to inspect at council offices free of charge.

We also hold a public register for certain Environment Agency regulated sites within North Lincolnshire. This information does not include comprehensive monitoring data and is only held by the council in paper format at the Church Square House, Scunthorpe office. If you wish to view this information, please contact the Environmental Health (Commercial) Team.

Further information regarding Environment Agency public registers can be found on the Environment Agency website.

Operations Enforcement Policy 2019.20 [PDF, 395Kb]

Other types of Pollution

Water Pollution is the contamination of water bodies (for example, lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater). Water pollution occurs when pollutants are directly or indirectly discharged into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds.

Water pollution affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of water.

Incidents of water pollution should be reported to the Environment Agency Pollution Hotline on 0800 807060.

Light pollution can be described as artificial light allowed to illuminate, or pollute, areas not intended to be lit.

Sources of light pollution include:

  • security lights that light up buildings and their surroundings
  • floodlights used to illuminate games pitches, places of entertainment and buildings
  • street lighting
  • advertising and display lighting

The council can investigate light that is causing a Statutory Nuisance. This does not include general interference of your view of the night sky.

Light nuisance

Light nuisance from residential properties should be reported to the council’s Environmental Health (Communities) team on 01724 297000.

Light nuisance from sports grounds, commercial, industrial and agricultural premises is investigated by the council’s Environmental Health (Commercial) team on 01724 297561.

Getting light right

For simple tips on how to get your floodlight working best for you and the environment, refer to the GOV.UK website.

Report a polluting engine

Poorly maintained engines produce more pollution than those that are well maintained. You can report an excessively smoky lorry or bus to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

The information required to trace the vehicle operator is:

  • type of vehicle (e.g. HGV or a Passenger Service Vehicle)
  • the vehicle’s registration number
  • company name (if apparent)
  • road name/number where vehicle seen
  • when you saw the vehicle (date and time)
  • your name and address (not compulsory and is confidential)

Idling Vehicles

Idling of a vehicle is when the engine is running while the vehicle is not in motion. It is an offence for a vehicle to idle its engine unnecessarily.

Idling vehicles create emissions containing a range of pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. These emissions can affect the air quality of the surrounding environment and the air we breathe.

The Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002 allow Local Authorities in England to issue a £20 fixed penalty notice to drivers who allow their vehicles to idle whilst on the road, if the engine is not switched off after being instructed by an authorised officer.

There are however, some situations where the vehicle will be allowed to run while stationary and a fixed penalty notice will not be issued.  These include:

  • While in a traffic jam or stationary at traffic lights.
  • While defrosting or running air conditioning as weather conditions dictate.
  • Where a vehicle is broken down and the engine is running for diagnostic reasons.
  • To facilitate the operation of on board equipment i.e. refrigeration.

Contact

environmental.health@northlincs.gov.uk

Environmental Health (Commercial)
PO Box 42
Church Square House
Scunthorpe
DN15 6XQ

Customer Contact Centre

01724 297000

Monday to Thursday: 9am to 5pm

Friday: 9am to 4.30pm