How to prevent air pollution
The best way to prevent air pollution from your business is to avoid producing it in the first place. Check and monitor your emissions and review your business processes to see if you can cut down on air pollution. Ensure you are complying with environmental law and with all necessary permissions. Then take steps to control any remaining emissions.
How to check your business for air pollution
Buy monitoring instruments that check levels of gas and fumes - you could use an environmental consultant to do this.
Include air pollution as part of your regular risk assessments.
How to control air pollution from your business
There are several simple ways to control air pollution from your business:
- Ensure staff are informed about the dangers of dust and fumes.
- Clean machinery and premises regularly and thoroughly.
- Seal vessels that contain solvents and other hazardous substances.
- Ensure there are enough open windows and doors on the premises. However, make sure you consider the effects of air pollution on the wider environment.
- Install a ventilation system.
- Consider investing in lower emissions equipment.
How to comply with air pollution legislation
If you have a pollution prevention and control permit, waste management licence or a waste exemption, you must comply with all of its conditions.
Several pieces of environmental legislation that control air pollution may apply to your business. This will depend on the type of activities your business carries out and where it is located.
- If you use a boiler or furnace, you should check what legal requirements you need to comply with.
- If you burn waste, you must have the correct permit, licence or registered waste exemption.
- If you use hazardous substances such as solvents or you carry out certain industrial, intensive agricultural or waste activities that are likely to cause air pollution you may require a pollution prevention and control permit. This permit will contain conditions that control your emissions to air.
- If you use ozone-depleting substances or fluorinated greenhouse gases such as solvents, refrigerants and foam blowing agents you must be qualified to use them, handle them appropriately and comply with any phase-out dates that apply.
- Emissions from your business must not cause a nuisance to your neighbours. Your district council or the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) can also impose additional requirements that you may need to comply with.
- If you carry out activities covered by the European Union emissions trading system (EU ETS) you must hold a greenhouse gas emissions permit. The main activities include energy activities, combustion installations, iron and steel businesses, mineral oil refineries, the mineral industry, and pulp and paper businesses.
If you are unsure if air pollution legislation applies to your business, you should contact your local council or NIEA.
You must also prevent air quality from damaging the health of staff and visitors.