Regulatory responsibilities

Regulatory responsibilities

Natural Resources Wales is the regulatory authority in Wales for a wide range of environmental legislation.


We are responsible for more than 40 different types of regulatory regime across a wide range of activities.

Some examples are:

  • major industry (refineries, chemicals, cement, power stations, iron and steel, food and drink etc)
  • waste industry (storage, treatment, disposal)
  • Sites of Special Scientific Interest - consents and assents
  • radioactive substances (nuclear and non-nuclear)
  • European protected species licensing
  • marine licensing
  • tree felling licensing
  • water discharges (surface & groundwater)
  • water resources (abstraction, impoundment, drought)
  • packaging regulations and EU/UK trading schemes
  • commercial fisheries (eels, salmon, shellfish)
  • Countryside Rights of Way Act – access restrictions, open access land

For most of these activities we grant permits, undertake compliance assessment and, where necessary, take formal enforcement action. We also regulate some activities where the requirements are laid down in legislation rather than in site specific permits; for example, the waste duty of care system.

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