Guide

Paper and cardboard manufacturing environmental regulation

Paper manufacturing water discharge consents and authorisations

If you discharge anything other than clean, uncontaminated run-off to surface water or groundwater you could cause water pollution. Surface waters include rivers, reservoirs and canals. Groundwater is all water located below the water table.

You must check if your discharges need a permit, consent or authorisation from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).

Your paper and cardboard business may create wastewater or effluent from materials that you store or handle, and processes you use on your site, such as:

  • process effluent, eg from deinking operations
  • effluent or other treatment plants
  • boiler operations
  • cooling processes
  • cleaning operations
  • site drainage and stormwater run-off

Wastewater or run-off may contain:

  • suspended solids
  • oil and fuels
  • heavy metals, such as mercury and cadmium
  • acids and alkalis, which affect the pH of the water
  • solvents
  • softening or brightening agents
  • biocides, eg plant protection chemicals
  • cleaning products

You should handle these substances with care at all stages of processing and manufacture as they can pollute surface waters and groundwater. If you pollute water, or risk causing environmental damage to water, you may be committing an offence.

You must have a discharge consent if you discharge anything other than clean, uncontaminated run-off to surface waters. Find information on the regulation of water discharges.

You must have a groundwater authorisation if you discharge anything other than clean, uncontaminated run-off to groundwater. Find guidance on groundwater authorisations.