Environmental Protection Licensing

Implementation of Environmental Protection Licensing scheme

The Environmental Protection License (EPL) is a regulatory/legal tool under the provisions of the National Environment Act No. 47 of 1980 as amended by Acts No. 56 of 1988 and No. 53 of 2000.The Industries/Activities for which an Environmental Protection License is required (Prescribed Activities) are classified into four categories as A, B, C and D according to the range of which descending their environmental pollution potential and published in the Gazette No. 2264/18 dated 2022.01.27. It includes 33 Industries/ Activities in part A, 71 in part B, 56 in part C and 39 in part Drespectively.

The table below shows information about the relevant institutions that issue environmental protection licenses for Prescribed Activities /Industries and carry out all the compliance monitoring activities, renewal of EPL, legal activities, and resolving complaints, etc.

Categories of Prescribed Industries/ Activities

The relevant institution of  issuing  environmental protection Licenses


The Regional/District offices of the Central Environment Authority and the Board of Investment Sri Lanka (BOI)for BOI registered Industries/Activities






Relevant Local Government Authorities (Municipal Councils, Urban Councils, and PradeshiyaSaba) and the Board of Investment Sri Lanka for BOI registered Industries/Activities

                                                                  Table 01

Note : Relevant application forms, for new Environmental Protection Licenses and the Renewal of  the Licenses, published in the second schedule of Gazette Notice No. 1534/18 dated 01.02.2008 can be obtained from the relevant institutions mentioned in table 01 or downloaded from the sub-page named “Downloads” under “Quick Links” on the Central Environment Authority's website.

 Benefits to industrialists by obtaining environmental protection licenses for prescribed Industries/Activities

EPL holder is,

  •  protected by law for preventing, minimizing and controlling environmental pollution, in accordance with National Standards and Criteria.
  •  able to manage sustainability of the industry by adopting an environmental friendly approach, minimizing the impact on the environment through emissions to air, water and land.
  •  given the access to technical guidance and the best available technology for environmental pollution control.
  •  able to compete with international market by producing high quality Cleaner & Greener Products through the Waste, Noise & Vibration reduction.

Standards and Criteria

All prescribed Industries/Activities with environmental pollution potential should,

-Discharge the waste water to the environment according standards and parameters shown in Gazette No.2264/17 dated 27.01.2022

-Emit Air emissions according to the standards and parameters shown in Gazette No.2126/36 dated 2019.06.05

-Release the noise according to the standards and parameters shown in Gazette No.973/7 dated 1997.04.30

Under a valid environmental protection license is a legal requirement according the Article 23 A of the National Environmental Act.

- It is also a legal requirement, that production of plastic products according to the standards, mentioned in Gazette No.s 2034/33, 2034/34, 2034/35 dated 01.09.2017 and the avoidance of burning of plastic waste in the open as per Gazette No. 2034/36 at the same day. 

- Further, Ground Vibration and Air Blast Over Pressures, generated by operation of machinery and explosions from the prescribed industries/ activities, should be done in accordance with the Air Blast Over Pressures and Ground vibration interim standards for SriLanka shown in Gazette No.2126/36 dated 2019.06.05 for minimizing the impact on the surrounding buildings and their occupants.

"If any prescribed Industry / Activity generates hazardous waste (Scheduled Waste), which should be managed under which a Scheduled Waste License, according to the Gazette No.1534/18 dated 01.02.2008 in addition to that of an Environmental Protection License is a legal requirement. "

Note: With the aim of protecting the receiving environment, the Central Environment Authority may impose stringent standards and criteria under the section 12 of National Environmental Act,than those of currently in force, for a particular prescribed Industry/Activity located in certain areas.

Procedure for issuance of environmental protection Licenses for prescribed Industries/Activities

Step 1: Procedure for applying for an Environmental Protection Licenses

Duly completed environmental protection licenses application form for each prescribed industry/activity should be submitted to the relevant institutions mentioned in table 01 along with copies of the documents mentioned below.

1. Certificate of Business Registration

2. Legal permission to use the land for the relevant prescribed Industry/Activity. (The copy of deeds, The copy of lease agreement etc.)

3. The legal permission for the establishment of the relevant Industry/Activity in that area (Trade License/Certificate of conformity obtained by the relevant local authority & other pre approvals by the relevant authorities)

4. Production certificate required for specific products (refining products, pharmaceutical products, pesticide products etc.)

5. The measures taken formitigating environmental pollution

6. Any other document or description requested by the relevant institutions mentioned in table 01

Step 2: Pre-screening of the application

- The application will be pre-screened by the relevant institutions mentioned in table 01, to determine the need to issue an Environmental Protection License, the accuracy of the information provided in the application and the infection fee to be charged.
- Only applications that pass pre-screening will proceed to Step 3 and the rest will be referred back to Step 1.

Step 3: Determining the inspection fee to be charged

-Based on the information provided in the application form, the inspection fee to be charged by the relevant Institutions mentioned in table 01, will be informed to the industrialist
-A receipt will be issued to the applicant once the payment is made.
- Field inspection will be conducted after submission of said receipt to the relevant institutions mentioned in table 01.

Step 4 : Conduct field inspection

The officials of the relevant Institutions mentioned in table 01, will conduct a field inspection to check the accuracy of the information provided in the application form and the possibility of operating such an industry while controlling environmental pollution and prepared an inspection report with recommendations.

Step 5: Evaluate the inspection report with recommendations

- The inspection report with which relevant recommendations prepared by the officials of the relevant Institutions mentioned in table 01, on the basis of field information, the technical reports provided by the applicant and the social aspects determines that the issuing of Environmental Protection License / the minimization of any administrative or technical issues if identified/the refusal of issuing of EPL will be technically evaluated by the authorized officers.
- In order to evaluate this inspection report for the prescribed Industry/Activityin the D category, a separate technical committee (Tech committee) has been appointed for each local government under the coordination of an environmental officer of CEA.
- If the environmental protection License can be granted after technical evaluation, the industrialist will be informed by the relevant Institutions mentioned in table 01, to pay the license fee or resolve administrative or technical issues if there are any.

Step 6: Issuing Environmental Protection License

- If the license is recommended, the industrialist will be informed by the relevant Institutions mentioned in table 01 to pay the relevant license fee, and if there are no administrative or technical problems, based on the recommendations of the inspection report, within 14 days from the date of the inspection, the environmental protection license will be issued for the Industry.The each EPL has aspecific serial No. its own.
-Validity period of an environmental protection license and license fee for each prescribed industry/ activity given in the table below.

The Category of Prescribed  Industry / Activity

Non- Mining Activities

Mining Activities

Validity Period of License

License Fee (Rs: )

Validity Period of License

License Fee (Rs: )


1 year or less


3 years or less



1 year or less


3 years or less



2 years or less

4,000 (payable in two equal installments)

3 years or less




3 years or less

4,500 (payable in three equal installments)



                                                                                               Table 02

Note: Half of the actual License fee and the Renewal Fee shall be levied from Hospitals and waste management facilities operated by the government and government institution

Step 7:Renewal of Environmental Protection License

- The environmental protection license renewal application must be forwarded to the relevant institutions mentioned in table 01, 3 months prior to the expiry date of the environmental protection license and before making any changes in the information provided or any changes in the operation.
- During the license renewal process an inspection fee has to be paid and, special attention will be paid to check whether the relevant industries/activities have violated the conditions of the environmental protection license already  issued , and if the violation has been rectified within the given time period, the license will be renewed. There is no any change in the license fee.
-According to the Gazzet notofication No: 850/4 dated 20.12.1994 if the license is refused, refused to renew, suspended or cancelled the relevant industrialist has the right to appeal to the Secretary to the Ministry of Environment within 30 days.

Step 8: Monitoring activities for specific industries/processes

The relevant institutions mentioned in table 01 that  Issuing Environmental Protection licenses, would carry out monitoring activities at regular intervals to check whether the prescribed Industries/Activities, are smoothly proceed & complied with the given conditions in the valid EPL, in accordance with the quality analysis reports issued by the registered / recognized laboratories and institutions of the Central Environment Authority, for waste water, air emissions, noise & vibration and final disposal and the environmental pollution control activities /the methodology installed in the prescribed Industry.

Step 9:Taking legal action against certain industries/processes

In the following cases, legal action is taken against the prescribed Industries/Activities by the relevant institutions mentioned in Table 01, that issuing the Environmental Protection licenses.

- Operating in violation of the conditions specified in the Environmental Protection license

- Operating without an Environmental Protection licensen In taking legal action, attention is paid to the following cases.

    1. Cancellation /Temporary Suspension of Environmental Protection license
    2. Rejection of the application directed to obtain the environmental protection license
    3. Final decision of appeal hearings referred by the Secretary to the Ministry of Environment
    4.  Making Legal Notices




The importance of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as an effective tool for the purpose of integrating environmental considerations into development planning is highly recognized in Sri Lanka. The EIA helps to identify the likely effects of a particular project on the environment, at an early stage. It also finds ways to reduce unacceptable impacts and to shape the project so that it suits the local environment. It helps officials make decisions about a project and helps the project proponent achieve his aims more successfully. Thus the EIA can be considered as a major planning tool and one of the key techniques to achieve sustainable development.

EIA has also become a mandatory requirement for establishment of development projects in Sri Lanka under the National Environmental Act as well as under few other le

Environmental Recommendation

Assessing site suitability is one of the most important procedures adopted by the CEA for non- prescribed activities under the EIA regulations. All proposed industrial activities which are going to be sited outside the industrial estates approved under part IV C of the National Environmental Act those which are provided with proper environmental infrastructure facilities such as common waste water treatment systems etc. are required to adopt and manage with environmentally sound pollution control measures before the operational stage.

Therefore all potential industrial sites or the establishment of new industrial activities which are not subject to EIA , particularly the small and Medium scale industries (SMIS) are advised to obtain environmental recommendation from the CEA for the proposed sites.

In considering the suitability, the proposed sites are evaluated in terms of its compatibility with respect to the zoning plans of relevant local Authorities surrounding land use, land availability for buffer zones, and the capacity of the area to receive additional pollution load and waste disposal requirements.
The main objective of the environmental recommendation procedure is to take adequate mitigatory measures in advance to abate or minimize the anticipated environment pollution arising from a proposed industrial activity.

The EPL is granted to the industries which conform to the standards stipulated by the CEA to mitigate pollution from existing industries i.e., which discharge, deposit their effluents/wastes to the environment or emit noise or gases to the environment. But there are instances where some industrialists find difficulty to comply with the standards as they have located their industries in a haphazard manner without incorporating the mitigatory measures at the beginning.

In order to overcome this problem and control the possible pollution at the initial stage the Environmental Recommendation is granted by the CEA. This is beneficiary to both the CEA as well as the industrialists in various aspects. The CEA gets benefit by controlling the possible pollution at the initial stage and the industrialists gets the same if they adhere to the conditions stipulated in the Environmental Recommendation.

Procedure to obtain Environmental Recommendation

    1. Obtaining an application from the CEA Head Office and CEA Provincial/District Offices

    2. Submission of the duly filled application form to the CEA with relevant documents needed. (survey plan of the site, building plan if any, route sketch of the proposed site from the nearest town)

    3. If the application form is duly filled and relevant documents submitted, a written request will be made to the applicant to pay the inspection fee. At present Minimum amount is Rs:3360/- and Maximum amount is Rs: 11200/-( with Government approved tax)

    4. After the payment of the Inspection fee ,a field inspection will be carried out by a team of officers of the CEA

If the site could be recommended, issue of the Environmental Recommendation to the Municipal Commissioner /Chairman of the relevant Local Authority with conditions to mitigate the possible environmental pollution. A copy of the ER will be sent to the applicant and to any other organizations/firms if related.

Environmental Education & Awareness, Promotion, Information Services

Environmental Education and Awareness Service

Environment Education and Awareness Unit of the CEA is responsible for extending awareness and providing environmental education for the target groups in order to enhance their participation in environmental protection & management.

  • Environmental Education & Awareness (EEA) programmes developed by this unit are targeted to a multi target groups ranging from preschool children to general public.

- Implementing the Preschool Program

- Implementing the Eco Club Program for students of Grades 1 – 5

- Implementing the National Environmental Pioneer Program (NEPP) for students of Grades 6 – 13

  • Environmental Pioneer Forums and Green Youth Club for school leavers.
  • Green Leader program for student teachers at National College of Education

Environmental Promotion Service

The Environment Promotion Unit of the CEA providing many services to general public as well as for different target groups

To raise awareness and disseminate environment conservation message, promotion Unit conducts below activities voluntary basis;

• Serve as resource personnel for awareness programs conducted by Universities, Private and Public Institutions, Industries etc. on request.

• Participated for exhibitions on request.

• Provide leaflets, posters, newsletters and magazines for required parties.

• Environmental Related video clips produced by the Central Environmental Authority is freely available in CEA Official YouTube Channel that could be downloaded by required parties;

• The programs activities conducted by the CEA is shared in official Facebook page, that could be viewed by required parties;


Library Services

Inquiry Service

The center operates an inquiry service for clients. Inquiries could be channeled by telephone, in writing or in persons. Literature searches are also undertaken for client from resources available in the Library.

Reference Service

The Centre is open for references during working hours. Photocopying facilities are provided when necessary.

Current Awareness Service

The staff of the CEA are kept informed of the material available, in the library in their specific fields of interest, either manually or through e-mail. Environmental Content service,New accessions and , Newspaper/journal Index are used for this service.

Online searching service

The entire Catalogue of the Centre is available Online.
A large collection of Newspaper, Journal Articles related to environment and full text of all CEA Publications are available on 
CEA e-Repository.

Internet Access

The Center provides its members access its online Databases through Internet.

Special Collections

The Collection of following materials are also available for references.



Service Hours
The center is open to the interested public from 8.30 am to 4.00 pm on Weekdays.






Laboratory Services

Services of Air Quality, Noise and Vibration Monitoring Unit

Standards & Criteria

  • National Environmental (stationary sources emissions control) regulations are published by the gazette notification no:2126/36 of 2019 for the control of stationary sources emissions
  • Interim Standards for Air Blast over pressure and ground vibration are being imposed until vibrations control regulations are finalized and gazette
Lab services
Services of air quality noise and vibration monitoring unit
Testing facilities are available for noise, vibration and air quality on commercial basis. please contact for further information
Deputy Director
Air Resources Management & Monitoring unit
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Air Quality Measurements







Daytime Noise measurement



Day & Night time Noise measurement




TSPM (total suspended particulate matter) in air samples



Asbestos Fibres in ambient air






Ambient air quality

PM10 in ambient air



Ambient SOX & NOX by wet chemicals method




Air blast over pressure test (ABOP) at quarries



Ground Vibration Test at quarries



Test blast in large bore holes in large quarries for two blasts/day



Each additional blast



 In addition to the above, government taxes and transport cost will be added to the total amount.

Water Quality Measurements

The CEA laboratory undertakes following laboratory tests on commercial basis.

                                        Testing Charges 
  Parameter  Testing Fee Rs
  Collection for composite sample for one to two hour period 1500
  Collection of composite sample for one to four hour period  2500
  Collection of composite sample for more than four hours  2500+500/per each additional hour after four hours 
1 Temperature/pH/Electrical Conductivity/Salinity/Turbidity 650
2 Total Suspended Solids  650
3 Total Dissolved Solids 650
4 COD (Open Reflux/Closed Reflux) 1200
5 BOD/DO Winkler 1200
6 Oil & Grease 1600
7 Total Coliform 800
8 Feacal Coliform 800
9 Colour, Apperance,Taste  575
10 Ammonia 800
11 Phosphate (colorimetic method) - (Dissolved) 800
12 Total Phosphate 1600
13 Dissolved Oxygen  400
14 Sulphide  750
15 Sulphate (Colourimetric method) 1200
16 Chloride Titrametric method 1200
17 Total Solids 975
18 Total Voliatile Soilds  650
19 Total Residual Chlorine/Free Residual Chlorine  500
20 Nitrate Ion Selective Electrode 1200
21 Nitrate Colouirmetric method 800
22 Nitrite Colorimetric method 600
23 Total Nitrogen  800
24 Kjeldhal Nitrogen  800
25 Phenol 800
26 Bicarbonate / Alkalinity  500
27 Total Hardness Titrametric method 500
28 Magnesium Titrametric method 400
29 Calcium (Titrametric method) 400
  Heavy Metal / Other Metal Analysis   
30 Iron (Total) 1450
31 Aluminium 2200
32 Chromium 1450
33 Manganese 1450
34 Copper 1450
35 Lead 1450
36 Zinc 2200
37 Nickel 2200
38 Arsenic 2400
39 Boron 1450
40 Cadmium 2200
41 Mercury 2400
42 Selenium 2400
43 SAR 2400
44 Sodium/Potassium/Magnesium/Calcium /Lithium 1500 each 

In addition to the above, government taxes (2.56% SSCL and 15% VAT) & transport cost will be added to the total amount.


Scheduled Waste Management Licensing

Hazardous Waste have been defined as the Scheduled Waste and prescribed under the Gazette Extra Ordinary 1534/18 Dated 01.02.2008.

As per the regulations stipulated under the Part II of the National Environmental (Protection & Quality) Regulations No 01 of 2008 all persons involved in the handling of (Generate, Collect, Transport, Store, Recover or Recycle and Disposal of waste or establish any site or facility for the disposal) Scheduled Waste specified in the Schedule VIII of the regulation should obtain a license from the Central Environmental Authority.

The Scheduled Waste Management Licensing Procedure

  • Step 1: Submission of the duly filled application for the Scheduled Waste Management together with the supportive documents.

Documents required/ Supportive documents

  1. Business registration
  2. Site plan
  3. Waste Management plan and related agreements
  4. Route sketch to the site
  5. Any other relevant approvals and documents
  6. Statement on Capital Investment of the industry for payment of inspection fee for new Scheduled Waste Management License.
  • Step 2: Payment of the inspection fee

Inspection fees calculated based on the type of the industry and the distanced from the CEA applied to both new license applicants and renewal applicants. Submit the duly filled Scheduled Waste Management Application.
Inspection Fee+ All Government Taxes should be paid once the payment letter is received.


  • Step 3: Site inspection

Officers of the Waste Management Unit/ CEA will carry out the site inspection.

  • Step 4: Issuance of the License

If the Hazardous Waste Management practices are satisfactory license is issued after the payment of the License fee.

License fee :


Generator Rs   1 000.00  + Government Taxes + STAM Duty 10% (Max: Rs 1000.00)
Collector Rs   1 000.00 + Government Taxes + STAM Duty 10% (Max: Rs 1000.00)
Storer    Rs 10 000.00 + Government Taxes + STAM Duty 10% (Max: Rs 1000.00)
Transporter   Rs   2 000.00 + Government Taxes + STAM Duty 10% (Max: Rs 1000.00)
Recycler  Rs   5 000.00 + Government Taxes + STAM Duty 10% (Max: Rs 1000.00)
Recoverer Rs   5 000.00 + Government Taxes + STAM Duty 10% (Max: Rs 1000.00)
Disposer    Rs 100 000.00 + Government Taxes + STAM Duty 10% (Max: Rs 1000.00)








Environmental Complaints Coordinating and Management

The Compliant Coordinating Unit (CCU) was established in the CEA for overall coordination and effective management of environmental complaints received from general public.

Objective of this is to deliver better service to the public and other parties on their complaints as well as protect the environment.

Type of complaints we are handling

Activities related to environment covered by National Environmental Act and regulations.

i.e. Environmental Pollution related to industries (wastewater, dust, noise, emission etc.) hazardous waste related activities, environmental impactscaused by development projects, damage to environmental  protected areas, activities on the contrary the regulations/orders published prohibiting polythene / plastic items specified etc.

How to manage and proceed with a complaint

We receive public complaints through Hotline – 1981, Website, e-mail and as written documents.

  •  CCU takes initial action to categorize / screen the complaints according the relevancy to the CEA.
  • Complaints which are fallen under the mandate of CEA or cause to any environmental pollution / impact are uploaded to the online complaint database.
  • Provincial / District offices and relevant Units of CEA take action to investigate complaints and thereby control environmental issues and solve the complaints.
  • Complaints which are not directly related to the mandate or subject area of CEA are forwarded to relevant agencies with a copy to complainantsto take action under the purview of such agencies.

How do you lodge a complaint on environmental issue?

In the first instance make sure the environmental issue affected by you is relevant to the CEA mandate or fallen under any other institute / agency.


  • You will be acknowledged the receipt of complaint by CEA with the reference number and information of provincial / district office your complaint was referred for the action.
  •  Any further information on your complaint contact provincial or district office of CEA with the complaint reference number.
  • Your complaint will be investigated by the relevant Provincial / District Offices or units of CEA and you will be informed the action taken.
  •  Complaints which are not directly related to the mandate or subject area of CEA are forwarded to relevant agencies with a copy to complainant to take action under the purview of such agencies.
  •  In such cases complainants are required to inquire the action from the agencies the complaint was referred.
  • Forwarding your complaint to the relevant agency / institute directly will minimize the delay on the action.

        Some other agencies your complaint can be lodged on environmental issues.

Complaints related to Municipal Solid Waste collection / dumping matters, unauthorized activities, complaints related to small scale industries delegated to local authority for issuing EPLand any other matters covered by PradeshiyaSabha act / Municipal council ordinance and by laws.



Local Authorities

Mining activities (sand/clay/soil/metal etc.)



Geological Survey & Mines Bureau

Erection of Telecommunication towers.




Telecommunication Regulatory

Commission (TRC)

Reclamation of paddy lands



Agrarian Development Department.

Reclamation of lands other than paddy lands.




Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation (SLLDC)

Wildlife and habitat protection matters.



Wild Life Department

Any complaint pertaining to BOI approved industries.



Board of Investment Sri Lanka

Any complaints pertaining to coastal area.



Department of Coast Conservation &Coastal Resources Management. 

Environmental issues cause to public nuisance

Eg :- Noise generated by loudspeakers and

similar instruments.


Environmental Police Unit, Department of Police

Provisions of GIS/RS Services

  1. Maps , data & information


  1. GIS Related Services
  • Obtaining GPS points
  • Digitizing maps
  • Scanning and printing maps(up to A0 scale)
  • Map preparation
  • Analyzing satellite images
  • Development of GIS & Remote Sensing Databases

* Charges for the service provided would be based on the scope of the work and the output required by the client

Contacts :

  • Director ( Research& Development)
    Tel /Fax - 0112867263
    Email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2024 04:12




ecnf infoactEng










Latest News & Events

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Service Appreciation 2024 In conjunction with the celebrations of the New Year... Read more
Mark the commencement of the New Year 2024 To mark the commencement of the New Year 2024, the... Read more
The World Wetlands Day national program The World Wetlands Day national program held on February... Read more
Warnagalawatta Environmental Protection Area Warnagalawatta Environmental Protection... Read more
Presidential Environmental Awards – 2024 The 10th annual “Presidential Environment Awards – 2024”... Read more