EA releases latest Covid-19 regulation relaxations
The Environment Agency (EA) has released two further Covid-19 regulatory position statements (RPS) for waste operators, permitting the temporary storage of waste at unpermitted sites owned by operators and the temporary storage of incinerator bottom ash aggregate (IBAA) during the pandemic.
Yesterday (4 May), the EA released RPS C17 allowing waste operators to temporarily store waste at an unpermitted site that they control and allowing for storage limits of their registered T1 to T32 or S1 and S2 waste exemption to be exceeded.
Last week, the EA published RPS C16 (30 April) for waste operators, which allows for the temporary storage of incinerator bottom ash aggregate (IBAA) at their permitted site, when their permit does not allow storage of IBAA or when there is no storage capacity at the IBAA treatment facility.
These two EA regulatory statements are conditional, applying only when waste operators can demonstrate steps have been taken to avoid relying on this Covid-19 RPS. Approval must be sought from EA, who will assess the request and check the compliance history.
The conditions of the RPS expire on 30 September 2020, unless the EA decides to extend them.
These recent RPSs follow others published by the EA in recent weeks:
- RPS C2 temporarily relaxes the limits on waste storage
- RPS C4 allows municipal incinerators to accept Covid-19 infectious waste
- RPS C5 allows healthcare workers to dispose of personal protective equipment (PPE) through householders' general waste when caring for patients in their homes
- RPS C7 allows a greater degree of flexibility around the monitoring of emissions
- RPS C8 removes the need for physical signatures on waste transfer documentation
- RPS C9 removes penalties for packaging producers that were unable to register with a compliance scheme during the crisis
By relaxing requirements for waste operators through the RPS, EA seeks to ‘minimise risks to the environment and human health where, for reasons beyond their control, compliance with certain regulatory requirements may not be possible due to coronavirus’.