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Fortnightly Bulletin – 18th October 2021

18 October 2021

Fortnightly Bulletin

Dates for the Diary

31st December 2021

The following COVID-19 Regulatory Position Statements (RPS) have been extended until the 31st December 2021:

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

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

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

Managing lateral flow device (LFD) testing waste: RPS C25

1st April 2022

Plastic packaging tax is to take effect on the 1st April 2022, businesses should check their permits for where recycled packaging is allowed under other conditions, such as with food safety

Plastic packaging tax policy 2022

30th November 2021

The Green Gas Support Scheme Regulations 2021 are to take effect in Great Britain only from 30th November 2021. The Green Gas Support Scheme (GGSS) replaces the renewable heat incentive (RHI).

GGSS-registered producers of biomethane through anaerobic digestion will receive tariff payments. Tariffs will only be available for biomethane injected to grid: no other technologies will initially be eligible for the scheme. Payments will be received for 15 years following registration. To qualify for the GGSS, feedstock for anaerobic digestion must comprise at least 50% waste or residue.

Producers and equipment previously under the RHI do not qualify for the GGSS.

Green Gas Support Scheme Regulations 2021

Legal Updates                                                                     

RPS C8 – Social Distancing when Signing and Handing over Waste Transfer and Consignment Notes 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, if 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.

When you transfer waste, for each waste transfer and consignment note, you must meet these conditions. The conditions apply to every waste transfer, from the waste producer through to its final holder

This RPS has been extended to expire on the 31st March 2022.

To read more about this guidance, click here

The Eco-Design for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information (Amendment) Regulations 2021

These regulations introduce eco-design and energy labelling requirements for certain energy-related products to ensure consistency across the UK and EU.

Along with The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products Regulations 2010 and The Energy Information Regulations 2011, these new Regulations aim to lower the environmental impacts of energy-related products by decreasing their energy-usage and carbon footprint.

The regulations have been amended as of the 14th October 2021 regarding the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals.

To read more about these new regulations, click here

Water and Sewerage Company Effluent Discharges – Supply Chain failure: RPS B2

This guidance details how you should manage effluent discharge treatment when you cannot acquire the chemicals required because of unavoidable failure within the supply chain. If you follow the conditions set out in this RPS then the Environment Agency will not normally take enforcement action regarding breaching permit conditions for effluent discharge.

Amended on the 15th October 2021 to clarify that this RPS applies to the chemicals used to treat the effluent are for reducing phosphorus before discharging. Also clarified that the RPS does not alter your legal obligations but rather the Environment Agency’s enforcement approach if the conditions are followed.

To read this amended guidance, click here

Guidance                                                                             

Adapting to Climate Change: Risk Assessment for your Environmental Permit

Climate change means that extreme weather incidents are becoming more common and more severe. You must do a climate change risk assessment for any new bespoke waste and installation environmental permit application if you expect to operate for more than 5 years. Review your risk assessments periodically to make sure they reflect current scientific knowledge on climate impacts and your activities. You should record the risk assessment review requirements in your management system.

This guidance has been amended on the 7th October 2021 to cover the different stages of completing the risk assessment process in more depth. Added links to new sector-specific examples of risks and mitigation measures. Moved information about how to use the river basin district worksheets to the page that contains these files.

To read more on this updated guidance, click here

Flood Risk Assessments: Climate Change Allowances

This guidance applies to both local planning authorities as well as developers/agents preparing flood risk assessments for planning applications, and development consent orders for significant infrastructure projects.

Making allowances for climate change in your flood risk assessment will help minimise vulnerability and provide resilience to flooding and coastal change.

The Environment Agency will check that you have used climate change allowances when they provide advice on flood risk assessments and strategic flood risk assessments.

This guidance was updated on the 6th October 2021 to change the section ‘Peak river flow allowances’: In some locations the dominant source of flooding will be from a neighbouring management catchment. If so, use the allowances from the neighbouring management catchment to assess the risk for your development or site allocation.

To read this updated guidance, click here

Articles of Interest

‘Adapt or Die,’ says Environment Agency

The climate emergency can only be successfully tackled through greater focus on adapting to the inevitable climate impacts that we are already seeing, the Environment Agency has warned on the 13th October as it urged world leaders to step up to that challenge at COP26.

With COP26 less than three weeks away, it has welcomed the UK Government’s focus on adaptation as well as mitigation, and the fact that climate adaptation is one of the Summit’s four key goals, but urged that more action is needed at a global level to protect the billions of lives and livelihoods that are at risk.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency has this to say, ‘While mitigation might save the planet, it is adaptation, preparing for climate shocks, that will save millions of lives. Choosing one over the other on the basis of a simple either/or calculation is like telling a bird it only needs one wing to fly’

Source, gov.uk, October 2021.

National Grid Expands Use of Innovative Technology to Unlock Greater Capacity for Renewables

National Grid’s Electricity Transmission arm is expanding its use of power flow control technology, which has already unlocked 1.5GW of electricity grid capacity. The hope is that the move will support the transition to a net-zero power system, as it will help overcome the challenges posed by connecting more renewable generation to the network.

The flow control technology is called SmartValve and routes power through the circuits which have available capacity. It was installed on five circuits in the North of England earlier this year, unlocking 1.5GW of network capacity, and NGET has announced this week plans to expand the initiative to unlock a further 500MW. 500MW, NGET estimates, could be enough to power around 300,000 homes.

Harker, near Carlisle, and Penwortham, in Lancashire, will be the first locations to benefit from the new SmartValve deployments. The deployments will entail a scaling up of existing projects and will be completed in early 2022. The technology is modular, so it can be scaled at existing projects. Installed devices are also portable and can be moved between sites.

Source, edie.net, October 2021

Fines and Prosecutions

North East Company Directors in Court for Serious Waste Offences

Three North East men have been banned from acting as company directors for five years after they allowed unpermitted and mis-described waste to be deposited on their firm’s land at Bishop Auckland to avoid the costs of legal disposal.

Appearing at Peterlee Magistrates Court on Tuesday 5th October, the men plead guilty to neglecting to ensure the conditions of an enforcement notice to remove illegal waste from the site. The mixed waste deposited on the land had been mis-described as soil.

All three were sentenced on Tuesday (October 5). As well as being fined a total of more than £2,500 and ordered to pay costs amounting to £16,000, they were disqualified from acting as company directors for five years.

A spokesperson for the environment agency said ‘This criminal behaviour was motivated by a willingness to attract business from those companies prepared to travel large distances to avoid paying landfill tax’.

Source, gov.uk, October 2021

Online learning and events

COP26 and Sustainable Finance – Prospects and Progress

18th October 2021, 12-1pm

The Paris Agreement reaffirms the principle that developed countries should take the lead in providing financial assistance to countries that are less endowed and more vulnerable. However, OECD and Oxfam have indicated that climate finance commitments have slowed in recent years. So, what are the prospects for COP26. In this third ‘pre-Glasgow’ webinar, two leading presenters will speak out, uniquely placed to review progress on this critical COP26 theme, along with prospects and opportunities.


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