Environmental permits

Possession of an environmental permit gives you the right to use a given natural resource, emit pollutants and waste, and develop your business activity in cases set forth in legislation.

Integrated permit (IPPC permit)

Granted for simultaneous emission of pollutants into ambient air, body of water, soil or groundwater layer and waste handling pursuant to the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Act.

Simple permit

Granted for exploitation of a specific natural resource, for emitting pollutants into the environment from a pollution source or waste handling (e.g. prospecting permit, mining permit, permit for the special use of water, ambient air pollution permit etc). Simple permits are issued on the basis of legal acts governing a specific field: mining permit on the basis of the Earth’s Crust Act, the permit for special use of water on the basis of the Water Act, and the radiation practice activity license on the basis of the Radiation Act, etc.

Special permit

Granted during the term of validity of the ambient air pollution permit and the permit for the special use of water. In certain cases, the special permit may exceed the established environmental limits. Of the permits of this type, Estonia has issued a temporary permit for the special use of water and a special ambient air pollution permit, pursuant to the Water Act and the Ambient Air Protection Act, respectively.

Extraordinary permit

Granted on an ad hoc basis for a procedure of specific natural object. To this point it has been most used upon transport of an endangered species across national boundaries, use of individual endangered animals, resettlement of individual endangered animals and other similar activities.

Applying for environmental permits

Applications for environmental permits are processed by the Ministry of the Environment, county environmental authorities and in certain fields, local governments as well. The latter are mainly restricted to fishing and natural resources mining permits.

Environmental permits and the application process are mainly public. The public is notified regarding the course of environmental permits electronically via the portal Ametlikud Teadaanded.

If you are applying for an environmental permit, it may entail initiation of an environmental impact assessment (EIA). In this case, the activity license application process will be suspended until the environment impact assessment report is approved. With the electronic environment permit information system, it is convenient to apply for and monitor environmental permits.

The environmental permit is the basis for remuneration for environmental use. A fee is charged for the right to use natural resources (fee for right to use natural resources) and environmental pollution (pollution charge).

Related authorities

Last amended: 25-05-2016 13:06 | Compiled by: Environmental Board