Permits and notifications under the Environmental Protection Act
An environmental permit is required for undertaking activity that may cause contamination of the environment. This need of a permit is based on the Environmental Protection Act and associated Environmental Protection decrees. A requirement for the granting of a permit is that the activity may not cause a health risk or cause other significant environmental contamination or danger of contamination. In Helsinki, environmental permits are granted, depending on the nature and extent of the activity for which a permit is sought, by the Southern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency or the city of Helsinki Environment Committee.
Under the Environmental Protection Act a business operator must notify the Environment Centre in good time before commencing the following activities (does not apply to exceptional situations):
- Temporary activity or event that will cause extremely disturbing noise or vibration (e.g. crushing or mining work, outdoor concerts or similar temporary events)
- Activity of an experimental nature, for example trials of new raw materials or fuels
- Situations of an exceptional nature (accident, production malfunction etc.), causing emissions that are dangerous to people or to the environment, or waste requiring specific activity in waste management
- Remediation of contaminated soil
Notifications under the Health Protection Act
Under the Health Protection Act a business operator must give written notification to the municipal health protection authorities in good time before commencing an activity, for the following use of premises or commencement of activities:
- Work premises, the use of which may cause a health hazard, or locating an activity that has a comparable effect on health in a residential building or in an area where there are residential apartments.
- School, educational institution, day-care home, children’s home or home for the aged
- Public entertainment, meeting or accommodation premises
- Public sauna, indoor swimming pool, swimming beach, outdoor swimming pool, or spa
- Building or fenced area for keeping animals within the town planning area
- Barbers, hairdressers or beauty salon or similar premises, where skin care or treatment is undertaken
- Gym or other fitness premises, where there are no restrictions on the right to use the premises
- Cemetery or graveyard
- Other similar establishment or premises where the activity carried out may cause a health risk to the user
A similar notification must also be made when there is an essential change to any of the above activities. A notification of change of business operator must be made to the municipal health care authorities. A notification need not be made if the activity requires an environmental permit under the Environmental Protection Act.
Notifications under the Food Act
Other permit and notification procedures
A person carrying out repairs to the facades of buildings and to other outdoor constructions must notify the Environment Committee in writing 14 days before commencing the work. No notification is required in respect of minor cleaning work, renovation, or patching of external walls or other outdoor constructions.
Fees are levied according to the fee tables approved by the Environment Committee. The tables specify the amounts of the fee and how they are based. Fees are charged for so-called performances under public law, relating to the carrying out of an activity by the authorities.