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Do you need an Environmental Risk Assessment?

All waste management sites which are regulated by the Environment Agency via a bespoke environmental permit require an Environmental Risk Assessment to be produced as part of the operator’s permit application. Once the site is permitted, the operator will need to maintain the Environmental Risk Assessment annually at a minimum and every time a significant change in operations occurs on site that have the potential to affect sensitive receptors.

The Guidance ‘Risk Assessments For Your Environmental Permit’ produced by the Environment Agency and DEFRA gives a five-step process for assessing the site activity and the risk to local amenity to successfully produce an Environmental Risk Assessment:

  1. Identify and consider risks for your site, and the sources of the risks.
  2. Identify the receptors (people, animals, property and anything else that could be affected by the hazard) at risk from your site.
  3. Identify the possible pathways from the sources of the risks to the receptors.
  4. Assess risks relevant to your specific activity and check they’re acceptable and can be screened out.
  5. State what you’ll do to control risks if they’re too high.

The Environmental Risk Assessment will identify people or parts of the environment that could be harmed by the activity and carry out risk assessments for each of the different elements of the activity. Identified hazards/risks could range from (non-exhaustive):

  • Odour;
  • Flooding;
  • Noise;
  • Process Failure;
  • Dust;
  • Peats.

Once an Environmental Risk Assessment is completed, the operator should have an accurate understanding of the risks posed by their operation. If you require assistance with completing or updating your Environmental Risk Assessment then contact our Senior Environmental Consultant, Thomas Broderick via email thomas.broderick@wrm-ltd.co.uk or contact him directly on 01943 667 039.

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