A Coventry waste operator has become one of the first companies to face a virtual site inspection by the Environment Agency (EA) during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The public body is using technology to carry out its role as an effective regulator where face-to-face visits are restricted due to government guidelines.
Tom White Waste, which runs a total of 62 HGVs out of two depots, met remotely with EA officers over Zoom in order to demonstrate that it was meeting legal and regulatory requirements.
The EA said this allowed officers to be taken on a site tour via the company’s real time CCTV and, along with paperwork and photographs supplied by Tom White Waste, it was satisfied the company was showing good practice and complying with the law.
The EA said it would continue making regulatory visits to sites where it believed serious environmental harm could be caused, but in other instances the organisation could make use of virtual inspections instead.
David Hudson, EA area environment manager, said: “We’ve been able to innovate and use technology to continue to regulate throughout this pandemic.
“Coronavirus is not an excuse to operate illegally. We are continuing to work closely with businesses and industry to help them meet their legal requirements and we are continuing to enforce regulatory requirements, while following the government’s guidance on social distancing.
“We make clear in our approach to regulation and enforcement that we expect operators to take all reasonable steps to comply with regulatory requirements using contingency plans to help them comply.”