The Environment Agency (EA) has published a new consultation titled Environmental permit competence requirements: changes to technically competent manager attendance.

Operators who apply for an environmental permit for a waste operation must be members of and comply with a government-approved technical competency scheme. As part of this scheme, the EA require that sites have nominated technically competent manager(s) (TCMs) on-site for a specified amount of time a week. This is called the attendance requirement.

This consultation seeks input on proposed changes to the TCM attendance requirements. Keeping TCM attendance requirements the same as they currently are is not an option. Copied below is text from the EA describing the proposed changes. The consultation can be found here. If you have any questions for the REA, please contact us here.

“We have considered and ruled out the option of continuing with the current TCM attendance requirements. Our aim is to simplify the requirements for both industry and regulators and provide greater clarity of what the attendance requirements are. We previously calculated the attendance requirement based on the Operational Risk Appraisal Guidance (OPRA Guidance). However, the OPRA Guidance has been withdrawn, barring the sections relating to attendance levels for technically competent managers.

The attendance requirement is currently based on 20% of operational hours for standard rules permits, or for bespoke permits in the OPRA Guidance.

We need to make changes to attendance requirements, so that poor performers receive additional supervision by TCMs to rectify non-compliances and reduce risk. We also aim to provide clarity for industry on the requirements for TCM attendance in certain situations for example where there are 24 hour operations, sites with multiple facilities and mothballed operations.

The Growth Duty requires us and other national regulators to take into account promoting economic growth, alongside our other statutory duties. As part of this duty we will assess the financial impacts of the options and changes we have presented in this consultation. You can help inform our decisions by responding to the questions.”