The Environment Agency (EA) has said it will support a proposed incinerator in Plymouth.
The EA said it was satisfied that the plant would not "significantly" pollute the environment or harm human health.
German-owned MVV Environment wants to build the waste-to-energy plant in Devonport's North Yard.
The EA said it was "minded to issue an environmental permit" which is vital before the plant can be built.
The agency will publish a draft decision document and draft permit and invite people to make comments until 3 February.
Chris James of the EA said: "If we receive any relevant new information during this period we may alter the conditions of the permit.
"If the information we receive is substantial it could cause us to review our decision to issue a permit, and we will be holding a public drop-in after Christmas to allow people to view the documents and ask us questions regarding the draft permit."
South West Devon Waste Partnership, a group representing Plymouth City Council, Devon County Council and Torbay Council, signed a 25-year contract with MVV Environment in March and MVV hopes to start building in April 2012.
Plymouth councillors will discuss the the planning application in December.
The closest houses would be 62m away from the plant.
MVV has said there will be 132 deliveries to the plant every day between 08:00 and 19:00.