chester

Chester 01244 405 555

Grosvenor Court
Foregate Street Chester
Cheshire CH1 1HG
DX: 19990 Chester

shrewsbury

Shrewsbury 01743 443043

Lakeside House
Oxon Business Park
Shrewsbury SY3 5HJ
DX: 148563 Shrewsbury 14

Slide e

Airport City, Manchester 0161 537 3324

Offices 204 and 205
Manchester Business Park
3000 Aviator Way
Manchester M22 5TG

The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales set out temporary regulatory statements and decisions in response to COVID-19

karsten wurth ZKWgoRUYuMk unsplash scaled e

20th April, 2020

To assist businesses to cope with the disruption caused by COVID-19, both the Environment Agency (‘”EA”) and Natural Resources Wales (“NRW”) have published temporary Regulatory Position Statements (“COVID-19 RPSs”) and Regulatory Decisions (“RD”) respectively.

These temporary measures are designed to help minimise risk to the environment and human health where, for reasons beyond operators’ control, compliance with certain regulatory requirements is not possible due to COVID-19.

Both the EA and NRW have implemented numerous COVID-19 RPSs and RDs in relation to monitoring and reporting, waste management and the water industry. Each COVID-19 RPS and RD specifically outlines when they apply and their compliance conditions.  However, the EA has emphasised that businesses must still comply with all other environmental regulatory requirements.

In addition, both organisations make it clear that in order to use a COVID-19 RPS or a RD, there are specific conditions that must be complied with along with requirements concerning pollution and harm to human health.   If those conditions and requirements are met, both the EA and NRW have stated that they will not normally take enforcement action against the business in question, however, there are some exceptions to this general rule in respect of NRW.

NRW appears to be taking a slightly stricter approach to that of the EA in that NRW may still make a record of non-compliance against the operator’s permit if a COVID-19 specific RD is upon by an operator.  For example, where the use of the NRW RD relating to the temporary exceedance of waste storage limits at a permitted waste operation will be recorded as non-compliance with the conditions of the operator’s permit.  However, any score will be suspended and will not impact on an operator’s compliance rating provided that all conditions laid out in the RD have been complied with.

It is clear that this temporary regulatory position is not a licence to relax standards and there are still many conditions which must be met in order to continue to comply with the regulations.  It will certainly be interesting to see how these temporary measures play out in practice.

If you have any questions in relation to the temporary measures or are worried that you will be unable to comply with any conditions of your environmental permit during the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact our Planning, Environmental, Energy & Regulatory Team using the details below.

David Harries

Planning, Environmental, Energy & Regulatory

Head of Team & Partner
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01244 405 527

You might also be interested in...

Chester chosen to host prestigious international conference

9th May, 2022

Chester-based law firm Aaron & Partners will host delegates from all over the world in its home city... Read More »

Handholdingkeystohouse CovidandRentArrears–WhatdoesitmeanforCommercialLandlordsandTenants

Commercial Landlords v Commercial Tenants

4th May, 2022

In light of the ongoing challenges for commercial landlords where their tenants are failing to pay, this article... Read More »

two people removing wedding rings

End of the ‘blame game’ in sight

8th April, 2022

There are significant changes that have been made to divorce law and procedure in England and Wales with... Read More »

Contact Us