Permitting: Abstraction and Discharge

Abstraction licensing can be a challenging regulatory hurdle for those unfamiliar with all the relevant aspects of UK environmental law and the way in which water resources are managed by the Environment Agency.


Avoiding inappropriate, excessive and costly discharge consent conditions is also important to many companies and individuals working with water.


We have been successfully applying for such licences and consents for a wide range of clients over more than a decade. Clients range from water companies and mineral water operators, through ground source energy schemes to the extractive industry.


Many minerals developments require permits for abstraction licensing and discharge consenting regimes. Of fundamental importance are the conditions attached to the permits which govern the sites’ activities and permitted interaction with the surrounding water environment. The UK Water Act (2003) states that many mineral dewatering programmes require regulation and abstraction licences that should be renewed every 15 years. During the renewal process it is likely that a detailed Environmental Assessment is carried out. We have a strong track record of quickly and efficiently providing the regulators with applications that meet their requirements to allow such applications to be speedily determined. Transfer abstraction licences are due be introduced by the Environment Agency and we have assisted several large UK aggregates companies with an audit of sites to determine work required to achieve compliance in advance of the implementation of the new scheme.


Many sites will require permanent or temporary discharge consents (Environmental Permit) associated with mineral processing, site drainage or dewatering. Water quality conditions will be imposed relating to silt settlement, hydrocarbons and other potential contaminants. We have in-depth knowledge to support the permit application including the design of required mitigation measures and negotiation with regulatory authorities.

Please contact us for more information on our Permitting: Abstraction and Discharge service.