Our response to the coronavirus pandemic
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If you’re not able to take samples of your emissions due to social distancing restrictions we will record that you’ve been unable to take the sample.
However, this will not be included in your annual compliance score as long as we’re satisfied that the failure is due to the Coronavirus pandemic and does not result in environmental pollution.
More detail can be found in the regulatory decision below.
We expect you to continue to comply with environmental regulations and your permit conditions. We will, however, take a proportionate response to any non-compliance notified to us, where is directly linked to issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Use of this regulatory decision will be recorded as a non-compliance with the conditions of your permit, however any score will be suspended and will not impact on your compliance rating providing you comply with the conditions laid out in it.
We will remove the score if:
We have temporarily changed the way noise monitoring can be carried out for operators who can’t measure the noise impact of their site or activity due to the coronavirus restrictions.
The full technical information can be found in the regulatory decision below.
During this period of national emergency, the following guidance is provided to operators and applicants regarding noise impact reports.
Where a significant impact is occurring, the operator should determine whether on-going production using a particular item of plant, suspected of causing unacceptable noise impact, is essential at this time and whether a temporary fix may be implemented. It is recognised that background sound levels may be unrepresentatively low at present, and therefore (as per BS 4142) the margin by which the rating level of a specific sound source exceeds the background sound level may be increased; giving a raised level of impact that may not be representative of the typical acoustic situation. Operators will not be penalised where previously acceptable emissions are now having a greater impact due to the unusually low background sound levels during this period.
However, companies should be aware that, with increased numbers of people confined to home during the day, their normal activities may have an increased impact at this time. Operators should therefore still take responsible actions where reasonable and appropriate.
Finally, some companies may have increased production (rates or durations) as they are directly involved in the critical supply chain for necessary goods during this period. In these circumstances, whilst the duty to employ BAT still applies; some relaxation will be given to unavoidable temporary increase in noise levels for operators contributing to the national effort at this time.
This guidance will be applicable to most operations during this period however, we recognise that applications where a higher impact is expected we could have to reconsider this approach.
If you have any queries on the above statement, please call 03000 065 3000.