B2.5 Role of the Regulator


There are various Enforcement Authorities with responsibilities for air emissions. These include:

  • Environment Agency
  • SEPA
  • Local Authorities
  • Highways Agency


Environment Agency

The Environment Agency covers England and Wales.

It regulates Part A processes. The release of pollutants into air from over 2000 of the larger or more complex industrial processes. They also regulate emissions from some large-scale food processing factories and pig and poultry rearing activities.


The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) is responsible for Scotland.

It regulates and monitors certain industrial activities that can generate local airborne pollution. It also provide policy and operational advice to government, industry and the public on air pollution control. SEPA also works towards Scottish and UK objectives and targets set to address global climate change and the cross-border transfer of pollutants.

Local Authorities

Local Authorities control air pollution from smaller industrial processes, Part B processes. They provide help and guidance to affected companies. They also conduct Air Quality monitoring to ensure compliance with the Air Quality Management Plan.

Local Authorities also investigate nuisance complaints and pollution incidents, such as:

  • Emissions of dust, fumes and odours into the atmosphere.
  • Smoke from industrial and commercial properties.
  • Smoke from garden bonfires.
  • Enforcement of smoke control areas


Highways Agency

The Highways Agency works closely with Local Authorities and the Environment Agency to deliver the Government’s Air Quality Strategy in England and Wales.