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Responsible for the service Regional State Administrative Agency

The need for an environmental and water management permit, the competence of the permit authority

  • Service
  • Nationwide except the Åland Islands
  • Public service

An environmental permit on the basis of the Environmental Protection Act is needed for any activity that causes a risk of environmental pollution. A permit on the basis of the Water Act is often needed for projects that change the waterways and groundwater conditions. If a permit is needed on the basis of the Environmental Protection Act as well as on the basis of the Water Act, one application and one permit for a project is sufficient.

The licensed projects and activities are listed in the Environmental Protection Act and in the Water Act. A permit under the Environmental Protection Act or the Water Act can be needed also, if the project or activity has adverse environmental impacts.

Do the following

If it is unclear whether a permit is needed and what the competent authority is, it is recommended to contact the customer service of the environmental matters at the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) or the municipal environmental protection authority. The consideration of the need for environmental or water management permits is carried out by the supervisory authority instead of the Regional State Administrative Agency. The supervisory authority gives advice and, if need be, a statement of the need for a permit.

To whom and on what terms

The Regional State Administrative Agency and the municipal Environmental Protection Authority grant the environmental permits.

The Environmental Protection Act and the Regulation determine more specifically which authority should handle the application for a permit. The competence is determined on the basis of the quality of the project. In practice, the Regional State Administrative Agency handles the environmental permits of large and medium size projects as well as matters that require a permit under the Water Act. The other environmental permits belong to the competence of the municipal environmental protection authority.

The service is free of charge.

The assessment of the need for a permit and the competent authority is a free of charge service.

The Regional State Administrative Agencies and the municipalities charge a fee from the applicant for the handling of the matters regarding the environmental and water management permits.

Basic information

The service is provided byRegional State Administrative Agency
Responsible for the serviceRegional State Administrative Agency
Area Whole Finland (except Åland)
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish
Text edited by: Regional State Administrative Agency
Updated: 9/9/2020