Environment Agency Updates

The Association has received notice of Covid-19 Regulatory Position Statements (RPS) from the Environment Agency (EA) that may be relevant to our members and others in the sector, please see below:

Monitoring Emissions from some Environmental Permitting Activities (RPS C7)

Updated Statement

(This EA RPS was published by AURPO on 02/06/2020)

We [the EA] have now published a revised version of this RPS now titled ‘Monitoring emissions from some environmental permitting activities’.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/monitoring-emissions-from-installations-radioactive-substances-and-waste-activities-rps-c7

Changes introduced by this amendment are:

  • The expiry period has been extended from 30th June to 30th September.
  • Certain sections now also apply to standalone water discharge and groundwater activity permits. This extended scope is the reason for the change in title.
  • Minor revisions of text have been made to aid interpretation. These do not alter the original intent of the RPS.

No changes are required to any previous agreement to use this Covid-19 RPS unless there has been a change in circumstances.

The extension to the expiry period takes account of potential backlogs in emissions testing as things start to return to normal. The RPS still requires operators to reschedule monitoring as soon as possible and therefore any request for an extension beyond the original 30th June date must be fully justified.

This COVID-19 RPS will be withdrawn on 30th September 2020 unless we extend it. After this date operators must comply with their permit.

Regulatory Position Statements include strict conditions which must be followed to continue protecting people and the environment during this period. We expect all operators to abide by the law and the terms of their environmental permits, unless covered by this or another RPS.

Operators are still required to get written agreement from the Environment Agency before using this COVID-19 RPS. For further information or to get our written agreement to use this COVID-19 RPS, operators should contact their Environment Agency regulatory officer or site inspector.

You can find out more information about the Environment Agency’s operational response to COVID19 here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/environment-agency-operational-update-15-may-2020


Original Statement

Please be aware that a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) titled ‘Monitoring emissions from installations, radioactive substances and waste sites’ has been published on gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/covid-19-regulatory-position-statements.

This COVID-19 RPS explains when you can delay and reschedule some emissions to air and water monitoring and other environmental monitoring because of Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. This RPS only applies where Coronavirus (COVID-19) prevents monitoring or sampling being carried out to the extent required by your environmental permit. This COVID-19 RPS will be withdrawn on 30 June 2020 unless we extend it. After this date you must comply with your permit.

This Regulatory Position Statement includes strict conditions which must be followed to continue protecting people and the environment during this period. We expect all operators to abide by the law and the terms of their environmental permits, unless covered by this or another RPS.

You must get written agreement from the Environment Agency before you use this COVID-19 RPS. For further information or to get our written agreement to use this COVID-19 RPS, contact your Environment Agency regulatory officer or site inspector.

Please note our independent monitoring contractor (Public Health England) will be in contact with relevant sites to discuss implications of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Environment Agency’s independent effluent monitoring programme.

We will be publishing further COVID-19 RPSs over the next few weeks to support industry by being as flexible as possible in relation to permit requirements during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak whilst still providing a high standard of protection for the environment and human health.

You can find out more information about the Environment Agency’s operational response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/environment-agency-operational-update-3-april-2020

Reporting for Installations, Radioactive Substances and Waste Activity Permits (RPS C10)

We have published a COVID-19 Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) titled ‘Reporting for installations, radioactive substances and waste activity permits’ on gov.uk (21st April 2020): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reporting-for-installations-radioactive-substances-and-waste-permits-rps-c10.

This COVID-19 RPS explains when you can delay sending in certain data, reports and other records, required by your permit, because of Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. This RPS only applies where Coronavirus (COVID-19) prevents you complying with the reporting deadlines required by your environmental permit. This COVID-19 RPS will be withdrawn on 30 June 2020 unless we extend it. After this date you must comply with your permit.

This Regulatory Position Statement includes strict conditions which must be followed to continue protecting people and the environment during this period. We expect all operators to abide by the law and the terms of their environmental permits, unless covered by this or another RPS.

You must notify the Environment Agency before you use this COVID-19 RPS. For further information or to notify us you wish to use this COVID-19 RPS, contact your Environment Agency regulatory officer or site inspector.

We will be publishing further COVID-19 RPSs over the next few weeks to support industry by being as flexible as possible in relation to permit requirements during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak whilst still providing a high standard of protection for the environment and human health.

You can find out more information about the Environment Agency’s operational response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/environment-agency-operational-update-3-april-2020

Accumulating Radioactive Waste that you Cannot Transfer because of COVID-19 (RPS C13)

Please be aware that a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) titled ‘Accumulating radioactive waste that you cannot transfer because of COVID-19’ has been published on gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/accumulating-radioactive-waste-that-you-cannot-transfer-because-of-covid-19-rps-c13.

This COVID-19 RPS explains when you can accumulate radioactive waste above the limits in your permit and for longer than your permit allows because of Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. This RPS only applies where Coronavirus (COVID-19) prevents you transferring your radioactive waste to destinations within the UK and overseas as specified in your environmental permit. This COVID-19 RPS will be withdrawn on 30 September 2020 unless we extend it. After this date you must comply with your permit.

This Regulatory Position Statement includes strict conditions which must be followed to continue protecting people and the environment during this period. We expect all operators to comply with the law and the terms of their environmental permits, unless covered by this or another RPS.

You must tell the Environment Agency before you use this COVID-19 RPS. For unsealed sources you must provide written confirmation by email that you are using this COVID-19 RPS to:

RSR.Rotherham2.NE@environment-agency.gov.uk

For sealed sources contact us by telephoning 02030 238207 or 02030 238174 and we will tell you how to submit the information securely.

We will be publishing further COVID-19 RPSs over the next few weeks to support industry by being as flexible as possible in relation to permit requirements during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak whilst still providing a high standard of protection for the environment and human health.

You can find out more information about the Environment Agency’s operational response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/environment-agency-operational-update-3-april-2020

COVID-19 and Exceeding Permit Limits for Medical Use of Radioactive Substances (RPS C15)

Please be aware that a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) titled ‘COVID-19 and Exceeding Permit Limits for Medical Use of Radioactive Substances’ has been published on gov.uk:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-exceeding-permit-limits-for-medical-use-of-radioactive-substances-rps-c15

This COVID-19 RPS explains when you can exceed the numerical limits in your permit for the radioactive material kept and used on site and the radioactive waste accumulated and disposed of because of Coronavirus (COVID-19).  This RPS only applies when you need to obtain additional radioactive material or generate additional associated radioactive waste as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) where the radioactive material is used to carry out medical diagnosis or treatment in humans.  This COVID-19 RPS will be withdrawn on 30 September 2020 unless the EA extend it.  After this date you must comply with your permit.

This Regulatory Position Statement includes strict conditions which must be followed to continue protecting people and the environment during this period.  The EA expect all operators to comply with the law and the conditions of their environmental permits, unless covered by this or another RPS. 

You must tell the EA before you use this COVID-19 RPS.  For unsealed sources you must provide written confirmation by email that you are using this COVID-19 RPS to:

RSR.Rotherham2.NE@environment-agency.gov.uk

For sealed sources contact the EA on 02030 238207 or 02030 238174 and they will tell you how to submit the information securely.

If you are going to make disposals to the sewer above the limits in your permit, or hold additional sealed sources that would result in a change in security category you will need the written agreement of the EA.

The EA will be publishing further COVID-19 RPSs over the next few weeks to support industry by being as flexible as possible in relation to permit requirements during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak whilst still providing a high standard of protection for the environment and human health.

You can find out more information about the EA’s operational response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/environment-agency-operational-update-3-april-2020

Read a blog by the Chair of the Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd: https://environmentagency.blog.gov.uk/2020/04/18/the-environment-agency-and-the-coronavirus-crisis/

Last Updated: 02/06/2020