Our use of Cookies

Information regarding the Environment Agency's use of internet browser cookies.

Introduction to cookies

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during one task
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don't need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there's enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with government services so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them from Direct Gov's website:

If you'd like to learn how to remove cookies set on your device, visit about cookies.org.

Video: How government websites use cookies

Cookies we use

Web Analytics/Metrics

These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited.

Cookie name Description Where it is used on our site and applications Expiry
 _ga  Google Analytics cookie Waste carriers registration  24 months
_UTMC Google Analytics cookie. Tracks when a visit starts and ends. Across our website, Consultation portal, Quality Protocol Checker, and the National Laboratory Service website. Session duration.
_UTMB Google Analytics cookie. Tracks when a visit starts and ends. Across our website, Consultation portal, Quality Protocol Checker, and the National Laboratory Service website. 30 minutes.
_UTMZ
Google Analytics cookie. Tracks where a user came from (e.g. search engine, search keyword, link etc) Across our website, Consultation portal, Quality Protocol Checker, and the National Laboratory Service website. 6 months.
_UTMA Google Analytics cookie. Tracks each user's number of visits, first visit, last visit. Across our website, Consultation portal, Quality Protocol Checker, and the National Laboratory Service website. 24 months.
uid

Unique number to track the number of return visitors to the search pages.

So service is available when you want it and fast, we measure numbers and volumes of visitors.

Across our website. 12 months.
IMRID

Used by Nielsen-Netratings to monitor website usage.

So service is available when you want it and fast, we measure numbers and volumes of visitors.

Across our website, CCA register and What's in your backyard. 24 months.
v5

Used by Nielsen-Netratings to monitor website usage.

So service is available when you want it and fast, we measure numbers and volumes of visitors.

CCA register. 465 days.

Session management

Cookie name Description Where it is used on our site and applications Expiry
 _registrations_session  Used for session management and authentication.  Waste carriers registration. End of session.
 seen_cookie_message Stores that the user has seen the “GOV.UK uses cookies to make the site simpler” message, which is shown when the user first accesses the service.  Waste carriers registration. After four weeks
ASP.NET_SessionId
Microsoft Session ID Standard .NET cookie to retain session state across multiple pages. Site, Emissions Registry application, EU emissions trading system (ETSWAP) application, Jobs application, Geomatics Group website, Publications Catalogue, CCA register. End of session.
JSESSIONID
Allows a user to be recognised within a website so that changes or data selection is remembered from page to page. Carbon Reduction Commitment application, Integrated regulation application, Generic operator returns application, Floodline Warnings Direct application, What's in your backyard. End of session.
FMSESSIONID
Allows a user to be recognised within a website so that changes or data selection is remembered from page to page. Integrated regulation application. End of session.
OFSessionHash Provides combined session and authentication handling of OfficeForms – the forms package used to present all forms within ETSWAP. EU emissions trading system (ETSWAP) application and CCA register.. End of session.
OFServerID This enables OfficeForms to maintain their state in a session. EU emissions trading system (ETSWAP) application and CCA register.. End of session.
Apache
Allows session tracking on the Apache web server. Floodline Warnings Direct application. End of session.
PHPSESSID
Allows a user to be recognised within a website so that changes or data selection is remembered from page to page. Publications catalogue. End of session.
X-Mapping
Sends user to the same web server each page request. We have several web servers, so to ensure consistency over a user's session the user is sent to the same server each time. WIYBY application. End of session.
v3_cookie_LB A load balancing cookie. We use multiple servers, so the use of this cookie makes transactions more efficient. Consultation portal. End of session.
ASP.NET_Authentication    Allows a user to remain authenticated after logging in. CCA register. End of session.
OFLogon   Allows a user to remain authenticated within the forms package after logging in. CCA register. End of session.


Personalised content/interface

To remember your selections or preferences that you’ve already made when looking at information or using a service.

Cookie name Description Where it is used on our site and applications Expiry
lang Cookie to retain language used, either English or Welsh. Across our website, Intergrated regulation application, WIYBY application. 6 months.
style Set and retain CSS style (i.e. Font size) information for the user. Stores the user’s font-size preference. Across our website, Carbon Reduction Commitment application, Generic operator returns application, EU emissions trading system (ETSWAP) application, Publications Catalogue, CCA register. 12 months.
text only Records whether a user has expressed a preference for text-only presentation. Integrated regulation application 1 January 2050.
npwd Contains cosmetic information about the skin to show (EA,SEPA or NIEA) National Packaging Waste Database application 50 years.
fasettings Stores different map views and selections. Also stores the view of the map when the user clicks "Save View" Live Flood Warning Map 365 days which is refreshed everytime the user logs in.

Stop multiple submissions

Cookie name Description Where it is used on our site and applications Expiry
qbtest / qbtest2 Cookie used to determine if a user has already a) completed our web survey, b) dismissed the survey pop up window. This will ensure the survey window does not pop up for a user on every return visit to our website. Across our website. 12 months.
 fs-popup-658  Allows a user to be recognised within a website so that an invitation to take a survey is only shown to each user once.  Across the jobs section of our website.  90 days.

Transaction specific

Cookie name Description Where it is used on our site and applications Expiry
.RegistrySecure Created when a user successfully logs on to the system. This cookie is used to authenticate subsequent requests from the user. Emissions Registry application. End of session.
.ASPXFORMSAUTH Required by the login provider to track if a user is logged in. National Packaging Waste Database application. 2 hours.
ASP.NET_SessionId Required to track responses from Barclaycard ePDQ when users leave NPWD to make online payments. National Packaging Waste Database application. 2 hours.

Third Party Cookies

GroupM - M4C Official Government Media Buying Agency Cookies 

In order to ensure value for money when spending money on paid for media, the Government selected M4C as the sole buying agency, in a contract with the Government Procurement Service.  Our site uses cookies as requested by M4C to afford them a good understanding of the effectiveness of such things as online information campaigns. 
These cookies are only set on a very few pages on flooding that form part of an ongoing campaign. They will not be set on your computer, unless you visit those pages.

The following cookies are set by M4C on our site are for the following uses:

  • Reporting and Attribution

This enables the advertising service provider to understand how campaigns are performing and use this to further optimise the intelligence delivered to clients.

  • Targeting of campaigns based on user interaction with client sites / adverts

This enables any advertising service provider ie. Any business appointed by M4C on behalf of our clients to facilitate the delivery of advertisements to users, to target ads to a device based on its previous advertiser interaction.

  • Targeting and optimisation based on user data

This enables the advertising service provider to target and prioritise which ads are shown to devices based on previous online interactions. These interactions include interactions with the clients campaign / sites, interaction with other campaigns / sites and can include predictions of a user’s interests and sociographic and demographic group.

Double click

Name: id
Typical content: Unique serial number
Expires: 2 years 

Xaxis

Name: id
Typical content: Unique serial number 
Expires: 13 months 
    
Name: OAX
Typical content: Unique serial number
Expires: 13 months 
    
Name: mdata
Typical content: Unique serial number 
Expires: 13 months
    
Name: NSC*
Typical content: Unique serial number 
Expires: 13 months
    
Name: RMF*
Typical content: Unique serial number
Expires: 24 months 

Appnexus (Covers Xaxis zap trader and anymedia)

Name: sess
Typical content: Unique serial number  
Expires: 1 month 
    
Name: uuid2
Typical content: Unique serial number  
Expires: 3 month 
    
Name:   anj
Typical content: Unique serial number 
Expires: 3 month

A&NY/ Lotame

Name: Aud
Typical content: Ad targeting information
Expires: 270 days 
    
Name: Cc
Typical content: Ad targeting information
Expires: 270 days

How to control and delete cookies

We will not use cookies to collect personally identifiable information about you.

However, if you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by our websites, or indeed any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. The ‘Help’ function within your browser should tell you how.

Alternatively, you may wish to visit about cookies.org which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of browsers. You will also find details on how to delete cookies from your machine as well as more general information about cookies.

Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of our website.

If you wish to view your cookie code, just click on a cookie to open it. You'll see a short string of text and numbers. The numbers are your identification card, which can only be seen by the server that gave you the cookie.

For information on how to do this on the browser of your mobile phone you will need to refer to your handset manual.

To opt-out of third-parties collecting any data regarding your interaction on our website, please refer to their websites for further information.