Regulatory responsibilities

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

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 and has entered a transition period until the 31 December 2020. The legal obligations relating to compliance with environmental permits and legislation continue to apply. 

NRW will continue to issue and regulate all permits and licenses in line with our current practice.  If you have any questions about your permits or licenses and/or site management, please contact our Customer Care Centre on 03000 653 000.

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 and 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.

Related document downloads

Guidance on Enforcement and Sanctions. Appendix 4 Examples of offences and options for our enforcement response WORD [141.5 KB]
Internal Audit Charter This charter describes the purpose, authority and responsibility of Natural Resources Wales’ Audit and Risk Assurance team. WORD [50.7 KB]