Industrial Permitting

Industrial installations, while being useful to society, can result in various environmental impacts, ranging from emissions to air or the marine environment to contamination resulting from accidents. For this reason the, industry is regulated by the Environmental Protection Act and subsidiary legislation. As a result, the Environment and Resource Authority (ERA) regulates the environmental impact of enterprises through two key mechanisms. Smaller scale activities are regulated through a set of General Binding Rules (GBRs) which apply to all enterprises within a common group (e.g. Hotels and Restaurant Group). Larger scale activities are regulated through an Environmental Permit issued on an individual basis by ERA. Certain enterprises of limited environmental significance (e.g. insurance companies) are exempt from control through a GBR or Permit.

Whereas environmental permits are intended to regulate generally medium to large scale enterprises or smaller enterprises with significant environmental risk, GBRs are intended to regulate small and micro scale enterprises through a standard set of environmental conditions, related to waste management, emissions to atmosphere, effluent discharges and storage of materials and chemicals.

Moreover, particular  activities are controlled through the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) and thus require an Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) permit. The IPPC Regulations​: Regulates high-risk installations, such as power stations, certain waste management activities, large farms, etc.  The main aim of the Industrial Emissions (IPPC) Regulations (LN 10 of 2013), which transpose the EU Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75/EU) into national law, is to minimise pollution from various point sources. 

A number of other regulations such as found below also identify other requirements ​of an environmental permit or Registration:

Facilities covered by the above regulations, or whose development permit includes this as a condition, need to apply for an environmental permit. Companies may also apply for an environmental permit on a voluntary basis.

Environmental permitting application forms are available here, and need to be submitted as one digital and one printed copy. IPPC application forms are available here​, while registration forms are available here. Assistance may also be obtained by contacting the Environmental Permitting and Industry Unit on 22923500 or on industrial.applications@era.org.mt​

For more information and guidance to operators and/or architects, check the various topics in the sidebar.