Guide permit requirement environmentally harmful activities

Guide helps companies and authorities with respect to the permit requirement for environmentally harmful activities in the port

The Port of Rotterdam Authority, together with Deltalinqs, DCMR (the Rijnmond Environmental Protection Agency), the Rotterdam-Rijnmond Safety Region, and the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, devotes itself to helping companies in the port with the new permit requirement for environmentally harmful activities under the Dutch Environment and Planning Act (Omgevingswet).

Environmentally harmful activities in the port

The Environment and Planning Act, which is expected to take effect on 1 January 2022, has some major consequences for granting permits for activities in the port. The current term ‘establishment’ no longer applies, and the term ‘environmentally harmful activity’ is introduced. The boundary and permit requirement of these activities will also change.


The guide offers companies and authorities practical help. It provides answers to such questions as: When are environmentally harmful activities subject to a permit? When should functional support activities also be included in the permit? What geographical boundaries can the application be based on? Practical examples are used in the explanations, including the following:

  • Complex business activity: the Seveso company
  • Terminal for storage and transshipment of ores or agribulk
  • Container terminal with PGS15 storage
  • Empty depot
  • Tank terminal
  • Chemical company
  • Independent water treatment plant
  • Multifuel gas station with LNG and LPG

It should be noted that additional rules might apply based on the municipal spatial and environmental plan, the spatial and environmental regulation of the province, and/or the regulation of the water board authority, which will have to be taken into account in the permit procedure. These rules are not included in the guide.

In addition, the so-called specific duty of care under the Living Environment Activities Decree (Besluit activiteiten leefomgeving) applies to all activities. This means that anyone who performs an environmentally harmful activity regulated in the Decree or who discharges waste into the surface water or at a treatment plant regulated in the Decree, and who knows or can reasonably suspect that this activity may have a detrimental effect on safety, health, or the environment, has the duty to ensure that these consequences are prevented, limited, or reversed as much as possible, or that the activity is not carried out if this can reasonably be requested. Customised rules can also be imposed.

Would you like to know more, or do you have any questions about the Dutch Environment and Planning Act?

Information point Environment and Planning Act
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