COVID-19 Regulatory Position Statements – England and Wales.
The Environment Agency (EA) has made further additions to Regulatory Position Statements (RPS) in response to COVID-19, covering circumstances where the EA are relaxing normal regulatory requirements. The RPSs include:
- Incinerating specified healthcare wastes at a municipal waste incinerator: RPS C4,
- Storing treated sewage sludge you cannot move because of COVID-19 restrictions: RPS C6,
- Monitoring emissions from installations, radioactive substances and waste activities: RPS C7,
- Social distancing when signing and handing over waste transfer and consignment notes in person: RPS C8,
- COVID-19 and packaging waste: registering as a packaging producer: RPS C9.
Legislation Requiring Action
The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007
If you are a packaging producer (or compliance scheme) that falls under the packaging criteria, then you must apply to register with the EA (England and Wales) or SEPA (Scotland) by April 7th in relation to operations in 2020. The deadline has now passed, if you were unable to register with the EA due to COVID-19, then see RPS C9 for next actions to take.
EA update on Land Contamination Risk Management (LCRM) guidance
In 2019 the EA update the Model procedures for the management of land contamination (CLR11). The EA were due to republish the revised Land Contamination: Risk Management (LCRM) in early 2020. However due to current events, the EA will publish an interim update to include: Updated text on the requirements for MCERTS, and Additional text on the use of in situ testing and rapid measurement techniques (RMTs).
Scottish Government launches waste guidance campaign
A campaign launched by the Scottish government, Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), is aimed at helping residents to better manage waste considering service disruption brought on by the coronavirus outbreak. The statement announcing the initiative explained that some waste and recycling collection services across Scotland are temporarily disrupted as a result of the coronavirus. As part of the campaign, a new website – managingourwaste.scot – will give householders and businesses updates and guidance on how to manage waste.
Articles of Interest
Environment Agency operational update
The EA will continue to carry out regulatory visits to sites that could cause serious environmental harm. For all sites, the EA are exploring how best to continue regulating using alternative approaches. The EA understands that difficult times will mean many organisations operational ability is affected, making it not possible for some to fully comply with environmental obligations. The EA are monitoring the situation closely and will consider the appropriate regulatory response to any unavoidable non-compliance.
UKAS remote auditing for certification
UKAS has announced it will be conducting all assessments remotely until at least 31st July 2020 and that UKAS Training Courses scheduled in April & May will now be Virtual Instructor-Led Training. UKAS understands this may create challenges for customers, but recognise it is important to protect the health and safety of their workforce, while continuing to maintain trust and confidence in the marketplace during these times. See UKAS video for more information.
Fines and Prosecutions
Businessman fined for breaches of an environmental permit
The director of a site in Stoke-on-Trent faces a bill of £84,000 for failing to comply with an enforcement notice and to submit Fire Prevention Plans. The site was permitted to temporarily store Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), however inspections found stockpiling of RDF bales, with some degrading, leaching and giving off odours. The EA issued a suspension notice and ordered the site to submit a fire prevention plan, which was not complied with.
Regulations Breached: The business operating the permitted site entered guilty pleas to 4 charges of breaching permit conditions, contrary to the Environmental Permitting (England & Wales) Regulations 2010, between 2014 and 2016.
Sustainability reporting and communication sessions
Date and time: Thursday 7th May, 13:00 – 16:00
Behaviour change, engagement, communications and reporting represent a big challenge for sustainability, CSR and energy professionals. As part of a special Engagement Week, Edie are hosting live and interactive Sustainability Reporting and Communications Sessions to help professionals enhance their engagement strategies from their own working environment. For more information and to register see the Edie website.