Environment Agency adapts to regulate waste industry during COVID-19
Published: 29 May 2020

Whilst lockdown and social distancing measures meant it was not business as usual for regulators like the Environment Agency, this did not prevent them from carrying out their role of regulating the waste industry.

Site visits to those premises that could cause serious environmental harm still continue, but in other areas, the Environment Agency have used other means to undertake their work.

Virtual inspections of waste sites have been carried out to check compliance with the Environment Agency using online services such as Zoom to assist in their work. They have also been checking sites CCTV footage from and requesting evidence from businesses to check compliance.

Such remote working techniques have been widely adopted and used to carry out various checks of permitted waste sites.

Area Environment Manager for the Environment Agency, David Hudson, commented: ''We’ve been able to innovate and use technology to continue to regulate throughout this pandemic. Working remotely, we have received all of the necessary paperwork and photographs and carried out meetings on Zoom, which included a site tour via real-time CCTV, to check sites comply with the regulations of their permits.''

''Coronavirus is not an excuse to operate illegally. We are continuing to work closely with businesses and industry to help them meet their legal requirements and we are continuing to enforce regulatory requirements, while following the government’s guidance on social distancing. We make clear in our approach to regulation and enforcement that we expect operators to take all reasonable steps to comply with regulatory requirements using contingency plans to help them comply.''


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