Assessment of Environmental Effects
If you are applying for a launch operator or spaceport licence under the Space Industry Act 2018 (SIA), you will need to complete an assessment of environmental effects (AEE).
The AEE will ensure that you have considered the potential environmental effects of your intended activities and, if necessary, taken proportionate steps to avoid, mitigate or offset the risks and their potential effects.
The guidance for the assessment of environmental effects is designed to help you understand what you will need to do in order to complete your AEE. It explains what an AEE is and what we expect your AEE to include. It will be of use before beginning a licence application as well as during the application process.
The following Guidance on completing an AEE explains the process for completing an AEE and what we require the AEE to include.
Our internally targeted checklist and supporting guidance used when conducting the initial screen of an AEE submitted by launch operator or spaceport operator licence applicants under the SIA. It describes the framework within which we will consider whether the minimum information has been provided and the AEE is appropriate for public consultation. This initial screening checklist is a tool to aid the AEE reviewer, it is not guidance on how to write an AEE.
We will expect to see evidence in the AEE, outlining the relevant expertise and qualifications to sufficiently demonstrate competent experts have been used. .
We encourage all prospective launch operator and spaceport applicants to have a pre-application discussion on the AEE with us early on.
Also, under the SIA, we are required to take account of the environmental objectives which have been set by the Secretary of State. Guidance has been developed to provide specific guidance to the CAA on the following:
- what the environmental objectives are
- how the objectives fit with overarching environmental policies
- how the CAA should interpret these objectives when assessing launch operator and spaceport AEE’s
Although the environmental objectives are for us to take account of, we will look for evidence that the objectives and their requirements have been met in the submitted AEE's. Having an understanding of what requirements we will be looking for is helpful to launch operator and spaceport operator licence applicants.
The below guidance outlines the approach the CAA will adopt in consulting with stakeholders on AEE’s received as part of the application process for spaceport and launch operators. It explains when and how this will happen and considers the best practice for provisional applicants on their own stakeholder engagement.
There is also an existing wealth of environmental requirements operating under separate legislation, independently of the AEE submission. Applicants should contact all environmental protection bodies whose jurisdiction they fall under to ensure compliance with all environmental obligations and seek independent legal advice. For example:
- A marine licence may be required for the activity. Applicants should liaise with the appropriate marine licensing body in their area
- Environmental permits, such as water discharge and greenhouse gas emissions permits, may be required to conduct certain activities
- A wildlife licence may be required where an activity will disturb or remove wildlife or damage habitats. Applicants should liaise with the appropriate environmental protection agency.
- Any international environmental permits or licences may be required to conduct certain activities within other international remits.