Disclaiming environmental permits
Produced in partnership with Ashurst LLP
Disclaiming environmental permits

The following Restructuring & Insolvency guidance note Produced in partnership with Ashurst LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Disclaiming environmental permits
  • Environmental permits and insolvency
  • Termination of environmental permits
  • Disclaiming onerous property
  • Who can disclaim an environmental permit?
  • What happens when a permit is disclaimed?
  • Effect of disclaimers on financial provision
  • Liability for Environmental/Waste Debts

Environmental permits and insolvency

Some business operations which have an impact on the environment are likely to require an environmental permit from the Environment Agency (EA) or a local authority. Environmental permitting replaced and simplified the need to obtain various consents under other regimes including waste management licensing, discharge consents and pollution prevention and control permits.

For example, in order for a business to deal with controlled waste, it must have an environmental permit (previously a waste management licence). The environmental permitting regime came into force on 6 April 2008 and thus waste management licences which existed before 5 April 2008 automatically became environmental permits after this date. Carrying out specified operations without a permit, or operating in breach of conditions attached to a permit, is a criminal offence.

If an insolvency practitioner is dealing with a business which has an environmental permit (including any former waste management licence) and is continuing to operate, they should ensure that it is able to continue to do so lawfully and in accordance with the conditions imposed on the permit.

If the business does not have sufficient resources to comply with the conditions of its permit, and it is likely that the company will be placed into liquidation so the company can be wound up and its creditors paid with any remaining proceeds. A liquidator