C8.6 Integrated Pollution Control


Under Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) and Environmental Permitting legislation the regulators must conduct an environmental risk assessment to determining the relative level of risk associated with the activities they regulate.

The regulator must ensure that the proposed activity will not pose an unacceptable risk to the environment and the necessary measures to protect the environment are taken, before a permit may be issued.

The Environment Agency use an Operational risk appraisal (Opra) as their risk assessment tool to ensure that they are able to focus efforts on the higher risk sites. The current Opra scheme was implemented in 2011.

Local Authorities use their own version of a Risk Assessment scheme, which differs depending upon organisation. For example:

East Riding of Yorkshire Council developed its own risk assessment scheme, based on the Environment Agency’s Opra scheme. The scheme arrives at an overall risk assessment score for a process by combining the scores from two separate appraisals:

  • a Pollution Hazard Appraisal (PHA) – carried out initially by the Environmental Control Specialist Team (in consultation with the inspecting officer) in order to determine the level and nature of atmospheric pollutant(s) released from the process; and
  • an Operator Performance Appraisal (OPA) – carried out by the inspecting officer in order to assess the overall management and operational performance of the process in respect of the requirements of the Authorisation.


Salford City Council complies with the DEFRA’s LAPC + LAPPC Risk Assessment Method, in order to determine the frequency of inspection. The method assigns a level of proposed ‘regulatory effort’ to individual processes (High, Medium or Low) according to their relative risks.

The risk assessment is based upon both the nature of the process and the way in which it is managed. The overall risk assessment score determines the category of the process/ installation and hence the frequency of inspection.