Medium Combustion Plant Directive and Specified Generator Regulations

Closes 30 Jun 2019

Opened 6 Sep 2018


The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 SI 110 were published in January 2018 to transpose the requirements of the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) EU/2015/2193 of 25 November 2015 and to control emissions from the operation of Specified Generators

Medium Combustion Plants and Specified Generators are a major source of air pollutants that may cause harm to human health and the environment.  The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) sets out rules to control emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and dust into the air. The Specified Generator regulations also control emission to air, primarily NOx, from generators that would not be captured by the MCPD. Together they seek to protect the environment by securing reductions of these pollutants.

Within the regulations the requirements for Medium Combustion Plants (MCPs) are set out in Schedule 25A and for Specified Generators (SGs) in Schedule 25B. The schedules include significant dates for submitting a permit application.

The Environment Agency administers and regulates the scheme for England. The other UK regulators include: Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW)

The below documents cover the permit application process, including guidance, charges, and how to comply with the regulations.


Exemption from SG Regulations for R&D sites 

Regulatory Position Statement 220 has now been published on and the link is:

Duly Making permit applications

For those operators who have submitted Tranche B specified generator permit applications to the Environment Agency before the 1st January 2019 and have not heard from us, we will be sending an email to you to update you on progress of your application through our duly making process. If you are in this position we would now refer you our amended Regulatory Position Statement 219 which is now available on and the link is:

Where we are satisfied that the information provided within your application meets our requirements then the duly made date will be the date the application was received. We will complete the duly made checks as soon as we can.

As noted in that RPS if your application is duly made we will not normally take enforcement action in relation to the offence under the Regulations of operating a Specified Generator without a permit.

If you have any concerns that you might not be duly made and wish to operate in January you should contact us using

Items of note

Updated Bespoke application form has been added 01/10/18. 

The simple bespoke application tool has been updated for abated diesel balancing plant (no more than 500 hours) with an aggregated capacity of up to 20 MWth. This is so some smaller sites that are unable to apply for the SR2018 No4 and are still low risk can apply for simple bespoke permits added 17/12/18

Updated Standard Rules application form has been added 28/11/2018.

Standard Rule Permit (SRP) Applications and Support

The 9 Standard Rule Sets can be found on GOV.UK using the following link

All MCP and Specified Generator SRP related queries should be sent to:

All completed MCP and Specified Generator SRP applications should be sent to:

Please include proof of payment if making an electronic transfer (BACS).

Environment Agency has today launched a new public consultation in relation to the permitting of Specified Generators and Medium Combustion Plant. For further information please use the following link:

Bespoke Permit Applications and Support

For further details and a pre-application request form, please see our website:

All completed MCP and Specified Generator Bespoke applications should be sent to:

M5 Monitoring of Stack Emissions from Medium Combustion Plants and Specified Generators has now been published on and the link is:

We have reduced the screening distance to 5km to determine when an assessment is required of aerial emissions on Habitat’s sites from MCP/SG fired on natural gas or low-sulphur diesel. When using fuels such as biogas and landfill gas the screening distance remains unchanged at 10 km.

We have added Article 14 Energy Efficiency Directive guidance to enable a cost and benefits analysis to be undertaken where required in relation to SRP No.7.

Capacity Market suspension – effect on the Specified Generator permitting process

Defra and the Environment Agency are aware of the Court of Justice of the European Union’s judgment in the case brought by Tempus Energy against the European Commission in respect of the Commission’s State aid approval for the UK Capacity Market. BEIS have released two statements on their website about the judgment which can be found here. BEIS are working with the Commission to seek timely State aid approval for the Capacity Market.

As BEIS makes clear in its statement “the judgment removes State aid approval for the Capacity Market, preventing the UK Government from holding any capacity auctions or making any capacity payments under existing agreements until re-approval.

In so far as the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016 refer to agreements under the Capacity Market, the judgment does not impact upon these provisions as those agreements remain in place.


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