Following the Government’s guidance on the Coronavirus (COVID-19), all workplaces are encouraged to enable their employees to work at home. For that reason, the majority of the Environment Agency has followed suit and are now working remotely. Wiser Environment expects that to be the case until June.
Throughout the country, the virus is leading to many events and conferences becoming postponed. The Government is taking steps to mitigate the economic impact on businesses. Nevertheless, Wiser Environment contends that the waste and resource industry needs to take further action to protect themselves. Especially, if they are currently working with the National Permitting Service.
With the news that the Environment Agency is temporarily closing down their offices, there could be an impact on those seeking to apply for an environmental permit. Wiser has confirmed from several sources that the remote working challenges the Agency faces will cause delays in the National Permitting Service – introducing yet more delays to an already under-pressure service.
In other words, businesses that are in the process of applying for or varying an environmental permit should prepare for face setbacks. In response to this situation, Wiser Environment recommends that such businesses should engage with their local regulators. Discussions at this level can result in Local Agreements or temporary derogations. It is likely that local response will be on a case-by-case basis and would be heavily dependent on an operator’s current compliance rating and potential risk posed.
No matter how long or impactful the COVID-19 outbreak is, Wiser Environment will still be here to help businesses prosper. If you would like to discuss how changes at the Environment Agency could affect your business, then contact us.