Applying for environmental permits and permits under the Water Act

It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that their application contains all the relevant information and is accompanied by all the required supporting documents.

Our online application form and instructions for applicants may not cover all circumstances. The structure of the form is flexible, and the same form is used for all kinds of applications. There may be sections in the form that do not apply in your case. You can ignore these sections or provide a brief explanation as to why they are not relevant.

The information and supporting documents that you need to provide depend on your plans, the nature and scale of the impact of your plans and the characteristics of the location of your project and the surrounding area.

Make sure to include all the facts and conclusions that may be relevant. You can also supplement your application with more detailed reports, evidence and plans.
We will ask you for more information if we feel that you have left something out. Drawing up your application carefully and making sure that all the relevant information is included makes our job easier and faster. You can ask us for advice on what you should include before you submit your application.

For advice on how to use our online customer service portal, you can email us at [email protected]

It is important that your application and plans are consistent and complement each other. Anything that could make it easier for us to process your application, such as up-to-date information about your operation, emissions, impacts and interested parties, should be included. Remember to also provide sources for your calculations, scientific data and assessments.

Make sure that you fully understand the nature, scale and impacts of your project before you begin to compile your application. If you feel unqualified to prepare your application yourself, you can ask an expert or an environmental consultancy firm to draw up the application on your behalf. 

All drawings enclosed with your plans must be clear and appropriately scaled. The following are examples:

  • Approach/general-purpose maps: 1:100,000–1:200,000
  • Cadastral maps: 1:5,000–1:10,000
  • Layout drawings: 1:500–1:2,000
  • Longitudinal profiles (vertical/horizontal scale): 1:100–1:200/1:1,000–1:2,000
  • Cross-sectional profiles: 1:100–1:200
  • Detail drawings: 1:10–1:100
  • Flow charts according to the process in question
  • Thematic maps as required

Pick your paper sizes from the ISO A series (A4, A3, etc.).

Make sure that you have the right to use the resources on which your drawings are based. Remember to include the document ID (type and number), the scale (both numerically and graphically), the date and the author’s name in each drawing.

Make sure to respect the landowner’s rights if you need to visit a location in person to take measurements. You will need the landowner’s/tenant’s consent or a research permit issued under the Finnish Water Act for anything not covered by the general right of access. Permission from the Finnish Defence Forces is required for any exploration of the formation, structure or composition of the seabed or sediments through geological or geophysical surveys as well as for any systematic measurement and recording of the topography of the seabed in Finnish territorial waters.

The information provided in your application and your supporting documents usually become public as soon as we begin to process your application. You can ask us to redact certain sections or keep specific documents secret if you feel that your application contains legally confidential information. Try to find a way to provide all the information that is necessary for us to be able to process your application without having to redact confidential sections.

If you absolutely have to supply confidential information, please do so in separate appendices. You will need to justify why the information in question should not be published. Decisions on the classification of information ultimately rest with the licensing authority. Environmental monitoring data and information about emissions and environmental characteristics can never be concealed.

Please only send documents containing confidential or otherwise sensitive information via secure email. The maximum size of email attachments is 20 MB. Larger files should be compressed or sent in multiple emails. Remember that sending documents by email is always at the sender’s risk.

Send secure email 

The competent authority for determining whether a permit is required is the regional Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, which also decides how the terms and conditions of permits should be interpreted.

However, other permits, licences and notices may also be necessary before a project can go ahead. Examples include action permits, building permits and noise notices. It is the project coordinator’s or the operator’s responsibility to find out about these kinds of permits and licences and to make sure that they are all in order.

Links to legal texts

Topics that might interest you

Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment

Needs assessment and consultations

Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities

Contact information of local authorities