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Fortnightly Bulletin – 15th March 2021

16 March 2021

Dates for the Diary

30th June 2021 Social distancing when signing and handing over waste transfer and consignment notes in person: RPS C8 This RPS will be withdrawn on the 30th June 2021. After this date you must, in person:

  • sign and hand over waste transfer notes and consignment notes
  • obtain digital signatures

Or you must stop transferring waste.

Legal Updates
Exceeding limits in radioactive substances permits due to the UK’s new relationship with the EU: RPS B1

Normally you need to comply with:

  • all of the conditions in your environmental permit under regulation 13 and Schedule 23 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 (EPR)
  • the maximum accumulation period of 26 weeks when you use the exemption in Schedule 23, Part 6 paragraph 4(7) of the EPR (the exemption)

If you follow the conditions in this regulatory position statement (RPS) you can temporarily exceed the numerical limits that restrict:

  • radioactive material (including sealed sources) that you keep and use
  • radioactive waste that you accumulate on your premises
  • radioactive waste that you dispose of by transfer from your premises

If you use radioactive materials for medical diagnosis and treatment in humans, you can also make disposals to the sewer above the limits in your permit.

You must notify the Environment Agency in writing before you use this RPS. In some cases you will need their written agreement.

For further information click here

Source: Environment Agency Briefings March 2021

COVID-19 and exceeding permit limits for medical use of radioactive substances: RPS C15

You usually need to comply with the limits in your permit under regulation 13 and Schedule 23 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016. These numerical limits restrict both the amount of radioactive:

  • material (including sealed sources) that you can keep and use
  • waste that you can accumulate and dispose of, on or from your premises

If you follow the conditions in this COVID-19 regulatory position statement (RPS), you can exceed these numerical limits.

This COVID-19 RPS only applies to radioactive:

  • material that is used to carry out medical diagnosis or treatment in humans
  • waste that arises from these procedures

It only applies if you need to obtain additional radioactive material, or generate additional radioactive waste, as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You must tell the Environment Agency before you use this COVID-19 RPS.

For further information click here

Source: Environment Agency Briefings March 2021

Accumulating radioactive waste that you cannot transfer because of COVID-19: RPS C13

You usually need a permit to accumulate radioactive waste under regulation 13 and Schedule 23 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 (EPR). Your permit limits how long you can accumulate radioactive waste, and the amount of radioactive waste you can accumulate.

If you are using the exemption in Schedule 23, Part 6, paragraph 4(7) of EPR, you usually need to comply with the maximum accumulation period of 26 weeks.

If you follow the conditions in this COVID-19 regulatory position statement (RPS), you can accumulate radioactive waste:

  • above the limits in your permit
  • for longer than allowed in your permit or under the exemption

This COVID-19 RPS only applies where you accumulate radioactive waste that you are unable to transfer to destinations in the UK and overseas as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) business disruption.

It applies to waste sealed sources and to other radioactive waste that you transfer for recycling, treatment or disposal. However, this only includes waste types that you are authorised to accumulate under your permit or the exemption.

You must tell the Environment Agency before you use this COVID-19 RPS.

You must continue to comply with the other requirements in your permit or the exemption and with the conditions in this COVID-19 RPS.

For further information click here

Source: Environment Agency Briefings March 2021

Social distancing when signing and handing over waste transfer and consignment notes in person: RPS C8

When you transfer waste, to comply with the regulations, you can use:

  • paper waste transfer notes (including season tickets)
  • consignment notes (including multiple collections)
  • an electronic handset

You normally sign and hand over paper copies or obtain a digital signature in person.

If you follow the conditions in this COVID-19 regulatory position statement (RPS), you do not have to do either of these in person:

  • sign and hand over paper copies of waste transfer and consignment notes
  • obtain a digital signature on a handset

If you use an electronic system for completing waste transfer and consignment notes, you can continue to use this as normal, as long as you do not have to hand over an electronic device to get a digital signature. If you do need to do this, you should follow the conditions in this COVID-19 RPS.

For further information click here

Source: Environment Agency Briefings March 2021

PPE waste from home healthcare workers treating patients with COVID-19: RPS C5

Normally personal protective equipment (PPE) waste from healthcare workers treating patients in their own homes would be:

  • coded as healthcare waste (18 01 03* if infectious, or 18 01 04 if non-infectious)
  • collected separately from the patient’s home through a courier collection service, or taken back to the relevant NHS England (NHSE) hospital or practice for disposal

As more people with COVID-19 (or suspected COVID-19) will need healthcare in their own homes we have produced this COVID-19 regulatory position statement (RPS) to minimise the:

  • need for multiple separate collections of PPE waste from households
  • risk of healthcare workers transmitting COVID-19 by taking PPE waste back to an NHSE hospital or practice

If they follow the conditions in this COVID-19 RPS, NHSE healthcare workers treating patients with (or suspected) COVID-19 in their own homes can dispose of PPE waste through the householder’s normal non-recyclable waste collection.

For further information click here

Source: Environment Agency Briefings March 2021

Cleansing and PPE waste at a healthcare waste management facility: RPS C1

This COVID-19 regulatory position statement (RPS) applies to:

  • waste from cleaning people or places infected, or potentially infected, with coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • separately collected personal protective equipment (PPE) waste, for example used facemasks and gloves, from commercial premises and produced as a result of social distancing measures

Waste producers are not legally required to separate PPE waste from other black bag non-recyclable waste. But if they have done this so it can be collected separately, then it should be classified as Chapter 15 waste, coded 15 02 03.

If waste producers dispose of used PPE in the black bag non-recyclable waste stream, then it would be coded as normal under the relevant Chapter 20 code (usually waste code 20 03 01).

Used PPE must not be put in recycling bins.

Cleansing waste infected, or potentially infected, with coronavirus

If you have a permit to store waste coded 18 01 03* and you comply with the conditions in this COVID-19 RPS, you can store waste coded 15 02 02* with HP9 infectious properties.

If you have a permit to treat waste coded 18 01 03* and you comply with the conditions in this COVID-19 RPS, you can treat waste coded 15 02 02* with HP9 infectious properties.

You do not need waste code 15 02 02* listed on your permit if the waste is infected or potentially infected with coronavirus.

Separately collected PPE waste

If you have a permit to store waste coded 18 01 04 and you comply with the conditions in this COVID-19 RPS, you can store waste coded 15 02 03.

If you have a permit to treat waste coded 18 01 04 and you comply with the conditions in this COVID-19 RPS, you can treat waste coded 15 02 03.

You do not need waste code 15 02 03 listed on your permit if the waste is separately collected PPE from commercial premises produced as a result of social distancing measures.

For further information click here

Source: Environment Agency Briefings March 2021

Articles of Interest
Compliance with Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) – Did you remember to comply?

Businesses have started receiving enforcement notices from the Environment Agency (EA) for failing to comply with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). What should you do if you’re not on top of your duties?

What’s ESOS?

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) was established as part of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive . It is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for UK organisations that either employ more than 250 people or have a turnover of more than €50 million (see The next step ). Companies falling into this bracket have to carry out an ESOS assessment every four years, auditing and reporting the amount of energy used by buildings, industrial processes and transport. The idea is that they cut energy and save money as a result.

Firms also have to notify the Environment Agency (EA) by a set deadline that they have complied with their ESOS obligations. In phase 1 around 1,500 companies reportedly failed to comply and in November 2020 hundreds of enforcement notices were sent to those who had missed the deadline for phase 2 (5 December 2019). The EA has begun to write to all the firms it thought should be involved but haven’t yet registered. Failure to comply can result in fines of up to £50,000 or £500 per day.

Do these regulations apply to your business? If you are not sure speak to an ESOS expert who will be able to provide advice on the regulations.

Source: Tips and Advice Feb 2021

Fines and Prosecutions
Two Companies Fined £15,000 for Exceeding a U1 Exemption

A sole director of a motorcycle track in Lincolnshire Ltd, pleaded guilty at Lincoln Magistrates Court on 4 March to a charge of operating a waste facility without an environmental permit.

A Waste haulier also pleaded guilty at the same hearing to an offence of depositing waste at the motorcycle track,  when no environmental permit was in force.

According to the director of the motorcycle track admitted that he had been granted planning permission to build a spectator viewing platform and had registered a ‘U1’ waste exemption for the site, allowing him to accept up to 1,000 tonnes of soil for use in the project.

However, according to the statement, the EA solicitor told the court that this limit “had been exceeded and that more than 20 times that limit had been brought in by the haulier”.

The EA Solicitor told the court that the U1 limit exists to make sure that only small amounts of waste product are concentrated in one place.

Projects requiring a larger amount of waste must be permitted so that the EA can manage and oversee the project to ensure that the environment is protected, the statement added.

According to the EA, the material was brought in on more than 1,000 deliveries between March 2019 and July 2019 by the waste haulier.

The EA said that the firm “claimed not to know that there was a limit on the U1 exemption, but the court heard that the company had almost 40 years of experience in the industry and had turned a blind eye to environmental regulations”.

The haulier was fined £6,666 and ordered to pay costs and a surcharge totaling £4,964.

The director of the motorcycle track and his company, were fined a total of £2,040 and ordered to pay costs and surcharges totaling £1,404.

Applying for a U1 exemption does not exempt a company from the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016. The limits of the exemption must be adhered to at all times and the material volumes tracked to demonstrate compliance. If a U1 exemption cannot be adhered, to an Environmental Permit must be applied for to allow the waste to be deposited on the site. If a company or individual ignore the requirements of an exemption or permit they are contravening waste law and are liable for prosecution.

Source: Environment Agency, 08th March 2021

Online learning and events
Virtual PEFC Stakeholder Workshop

24th March 2021 @ 09:30

PEFC’s revised Chain of Custody ST 2002 and PEFC Trademarks ST 2001 standards were endorsed in February 2020.  The workshop lasts approximately 3 hours and is free to attend. To reserve your place, send an e-mail to hilary.khawam@pefc.co.uk.

UK Business and Biodiversity Forum

18th March 2021

Now, more than ever, is the time to bring UK businesses together to focus on nature, seeking business innovation and opportunities to put biodiversity conservation at the heart of a green recovery.

Representatives from UK businesses and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC United Kingdom), in conjunction with IEMA, invite you to join a webinar introducing the new UK Business & Biodiversity Forum.

During the Webinar, the team will talk through the purpose of the UKBBF, showcase some of the work UK businesses are already doing, and provide an opportunity to discuss the issues you’re having to manage in relation to biodiversity and how the UKBBF can support your business.

To book a place click here

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