Environment Agency information

Navigating Port Environmental Information Project

The Environment Agency is the lead Government Agency which tackles environmental issues in England and Wales. Many of these issues ranging from waste management, contaminated land, pollution and flood defence are of direct interest to Port and Harbour managers. Local contacts are annexed. The Agency is also a navigation and port authority itself.

As a result of this the Environment Agency has established a Port Sector Group¸ comprising representatives of the UK Major Ports Group and British Ports Association. This is a forum for debating current environmental issues. The Agency's contact on this is Dr Binny Buckley and can be contacted through:


Or via the postal address of: Environment Agency, Orchard House, Endeavour Park, London Road, Addington, Kent ME19 5SH

Listed below are a range of projects of direct interest to the Port sector along with guidance on how this information can be accessed on the Environment Agencies website.


Homepage for the Agency, offering a range of topics that would be of use in a ports context, such as R&D reports ( - Science and Research) and technical publications and guidance notes for business and industry ( Business and Industry).

The Environment Agency have a range of advice mechanisms some of which are outlined below:

  • NetRegs
  • Habitats Directive
  • The Environmental Protection Priorities for the Solent (EPPS)
  • The Agency's National Incidents and Contingency Planning Team



NetRegs is designed to help businesses understand, in plain language, what key environmental legislation and responsibilities affects them. NetRegs is led by the Environment Agency in partnership with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) the Environment and Heritage Service Northern Ireland (EHS NI) and the Small Business Service. NetRegs is relevant to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. NetRegs guides users through logical steps to practical information and links to further information. NetRegs has four main areas:

  • Management Guidelines - identifies key environmental legislation that may apply to the different aspects of their business, from raw material inputs through to wastes. Offer practical tips to help businesses comply with any relevant legislation and present lists of hyperlinks to that legislation.
  • Sector Guidelines - more detailed than the Management Guidelines, giving legal requirements and good practice tips relevant to the different processes in specific business sectors. NetRegs is building up sector-specific information will be written and published on the site by the end of March 2004 for 100 sectors across about 30 Sector Groups
  • Legislation
  • More Resources

NetRegs is in the process of developing sectoral guidance for Ports, but currently offers guidance on subjects relevant to the sea-land interface for construction and operational work on ports. Examples include Construction work at harbours and docks (Business Sectors - Construction); information on the EU Directive on Port Reception Facilities for Ship-generated Waste and Cargo Residues, Water Framework Directive (Legislation > Future Legislation). The NetRegs site therefore provides a relatively comprehensive range of legislative guidance through a single source and in an easy-tounderstand format specifically aimed at the customer.

Habitats Directive

The Agency's Habitats Directive and Regulations Guidance documents have been jointly developed with English Nature (EN) and Countryside Council for Wales (CCW), to provide guidance on ensuring the compliance of permissions and ongoing operations with the Directive and Regulations. Aimed at the Agency's statutory remit of permissions and ongoing operations, it provides useful principles, flowcharts and technical guidance that will assist other competent authorities in the execution of their duties. This link is particularly useful because of the regulatory complexities at the sea-land interface and regarding the ecological complexities of nationally and internationally designated estuaries and coasts. It is also advantageous in having been agreed between the three organisations, precluding the need to consult each of them separately on the relevant policies, procedures and technical guidance.

The Environmental Protection Priorities for the Solent (EPPS)

This was developed by the Environment Agency (EA) Hampshire and Isle of Wight Area and is a working document for Agency personnel undertaking mitigation measures within the Solent and adjacent areas. It is also intended to be used as a reference document for external Authorities and Agencies, defining roles and areas of responsibility.

The EPPS identifies sites in, and adjacent to, the Solent, which:

  1. Can be protected from both land-based and marine oils spills.
  2. Determines the priority of sites for protection based upon a sensitivity analysis matrix (summer and winter).

The EPPS works in conjunction with the National Contingency Plan (NCP) developed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and dovetails with County and District oil spill contingency plans and Port and Harbour Authority Plans developed under the Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Regulations, 1988 (OPRC, 1998).

In order to ensure a consistent approach to contingency planning and operations within this sphere of operations, the Agency would welcome its inclusion in the NPEI project so as to consolidate future work in partnership with the Local Authorities, Port and Harbour Authorities under the guidance of the MCA. The document has yet to be added onto the Agency's website, but is used by external organisations and should therefore be considered public domain.

The Agency's National Incidents and Contingency Planning Team is currently reviewing its internal and external documentation systems. It is anticipated that an expanded range of documents and guidance on subjects such as oil spill response plans and operating agreements between relevant authorities will be placed on the Agency's external website towards the end of 2003.

The Agency has Memoranda of Understanding with MCA (Marine pollution), HSE, Department of Health and Local Authorities (fly-tipping).