Environmentally hazardous activities

Provisions on environmentally hazardous activities are contained in the Environmental Code. If you want to start or run certain types of environmentally hazardous activities, you need a permit or notification.

What are environmentally hazardous activities?

Environmentally hazardous activities means the use of land, buildings and installations which in any way involves emissions to land, air or water or poses any other risk of harm to human health or the environment. Examples of activities considered to be environmentally hazardous are agriculture, various types of industry, sewage treatment plants and others.

Is a permit or notification required for my business?

The legislation classifies activities as A, B, C or U activities, depending on their scale and environmental impact. To establish or operate certain types of activities, a permit or a notification is required. The Environmental Permit Regulation specifies which activities require this.

Obligation to obtain authorisation

Activities requiring permits have a major impact on the environment, such as large engineering industries and quarries. Activities classified as A activities require a permit from the Environmental Court and B activities require a permit from the County Administrative Board.

Obligation to notify

Notifiable activities are classified as C activities. C activities must be notified to the municipality at least six weeks before the planned start of the activity. Examples of notifiable activities are large petrol stations, waste management, small sawmills and industries.

No trial

Activities that do not require a permit or notification are called U activities. These activities are still subject to the rules of the Environmental Code and can affect the environment in different ways. The municipality supervises these activities and can require protective measures. For example, car repair shops and small farms are considered U-activities.

What does the law say?

Operators are responsible for investigating and examining disturbances from their activities. The operator is also responsible for rectifying deficiencies. The operator must also establish procedures for the control of its activities, known as self-checking. To do this, the operator must have sufficient knowledge of the risks associated with its activities and establish procedures to manage the risks.


Almost all businesses produce some form of hazardous waste, such as electronics, fluorescent lamps and various chemicals. In the past, all professional establishments were obliged to keep records of the hazardous waste generated by their operations. The information to be recorded includes the quantities and types of waste.

Report hazardous waste

From 1 November 2020, establishments must start reporting recorded data on hazardous waste to the new waste register at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

Who has to report in the waste register?

All activities that:

  • produces hazardous waste (hazardous waste is generated)
  • transports hazardous waste
  • receives hazardous waste in collection operations
  • brokering or dealing in hazardous waste
  • treats hazardous waste

A business can be anything from a large factory to a company with a few employees such as a hairdressing salon, car wash or estate agency. It can also be a school, a health facility or a swimming pool.


A medium-sized incineration plant means an incineration plant with a total installed rated thermal input from 1 megawatt up to 50 megawatts.

Since 1 June 2019, a new regulation for medium-sized incineration plants applies. The basis for the new regulation is an EU directive on the limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air. Part of the regulation requires medium-sized combustion plants to be registered with the supervisory authority. Register medium-sized combustion plants via the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's e-service.

Below is published information on medium-sized incineration plants registered in the municipality of Sollefteå.