A permit allows an establishment or person to carry on various activities which may have an impact on the environment and human health, and states what restrictions there are to minimise damage to the environment and human health. Prior to construction, a pre-construction conference is held between contractors, developers and environmental inspectors to ensure controls are compliant. Inspections are conducted periodically during construction to ensure that temporary erosion controls are compliant, remain in place, and development is consistent with approved plans.
A final environmental inspection is required before the site work is considered complete. Many activities that can cause pollution are prohibited unless authorized by a permit. When either the Environment Agency or a local authority gives someone an environmental permit, they are allowing that person to carry on the activity with certain conditions. The permit gives clear instructions on how the environment must be protected from this activity. Permits can cover water and air pollution, radioactive contamination and other environmental hazards. The standards of protection take into account the nature of the hazard, the cost and the risks to the environment and human health. These permits maintain a careful balance between human activity and environmental protection.