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Dealing with consent applications

Applications for consent are processed by us and by the Norwegian Environment Directorate and the Norwegian Board of Health, represented by the county governor of Rogaland (FMRO), depending on their content.

In each case, the authorities will determine how detailed their consideration will be. This decision depends on such factors as:

  • experience with the relevant operator
  • experience with the contractors due to be involved in the activity
  • experience with the relevant project/facility/vessel
  • special safety and working environment challenges linked to the activities covered by the consent application, including the environmental vulnerability of the area
  • when the activity is due to commence.

We award consents pursuant to our coordinatory role, and based on comments from the FMRO. The Norwegian Environment Agency decides on the award of emission/discharge permits.

Processing time – four-nine weeks
We normally expect our consideration of a consent application to take four weeks. If an appeal is lodged against our decision, total processing time could increase to almost nine weeks.

In most cases, no appeal will be made against our decision. That applies particularly in areas

  • which are not environmentally sensitive, in deep water or close to land
  • when large volumes of chemicals are not being discharged
  • when chemicals to be discharged are in the yellow or green categories.

Applications related to requirements for environmental documentation
The Norwegian Environment Agency enforces the Pollution Act, and processes all documents related to requirements for the natural environment in the regulations.

These include applications for emission/discharge permits and company analyses of environmental risk and emergency preparedness/protection against oil spills related to an exploration activity.

The directorate circulates the environmental documentation for consultation, with a deadline of roughly eight weeks for comments.

As a result, it expects processing to take around 13 weeks. In the event of a possible appeal, this schedule will also depend on the length of consideration by the Ministry of the Environment.