In addition to the recent temporary enforcement suspensions (see April 16 Alert and April 21 Alert) in response to the ongoing disruption caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the UK’s Environment Agency (EA) has published further temporary regulatory position statements (RPS).
Like the EA’s general pre-COVID-19 RPS, the new COVID-19-specific RPS are declarations by the EA (the primary environmental regulator and enforcement authority for England and Wales) that it will not seek to enforce certain aspects of the UK’s environmental permitting regime in specific circumstances related to COVID-19.
An RPS does not render previously unlawful activity lawful; rather, it renders it less likely that enforcement action will be taken in relation to that activity (and, were enforcement action to be taken, an RPS may be sought to be used as a defence).
This set of RPS address:
- Waste management (excluding radioactive waste)
- Monitoring and reporting
- Regulated industry installations (non-waste)
- Radioactive substances regulation