The Environment Agency have issued the following update regarding their response to Coronavirus;
Like all organisations, we have been reviewing the impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) on our work. We are closely monitoring the situation, following UK Government advice, and have been considering the implications this could have over the coming weeks and months. Our focus is on protecting lives and livelihoods and the environment.
Our first priorities
Our immediate priority has been to ensure that we were taking all the necessary steps to keep the people we employ safe by providing clear and consistent information to our staff and to provide clear guidance to help prevent the spread of the virus.
We are doing this by following the Government guidelines on reducing the risk of Coronavirus; by seeking to act quickly, decisively and proportionately; and by responding flexibly as the situation develops.
We are ready to respond
Please be reassured that we continue to be prepared for any environmental incident from pollution to flooding and our teams are on a rota, on call 24/7 and are ready to respond.
We have put in place arrangements to ensure that, as far as possible we can:
• Continue to respond effectively in the event of a major flood, pollution or other incident;
• Carry out our regulatory activities in a safe, secure and effective way;
• Keep our operational sites, such as flood barriers, up and running;
• Support businesses who face their own operational difficulties;
• Sustain our cooperation with the emergency services, local authorities and other partners, including in the Local Resilience Forums which are helping manage the current crisis.
Continuing vital work to protect communities
We are reassessing our non-incident related functions to ensure that we prioritise our work appropriately, but face to face meetings with communities, professional partners etc will change to reflect the current situation.
Where we have staff out on the ground, for example inspecting assets we operate or other parties’ sites which we regulate, they will be adhering to the latest advice from Public Health England.
While we will aim to provide the best possible service that we can, in current circumstances we will not be able to operate as normal. We will need to stop or slow some of our normal activities to focus on the most important and urgent. We're in unprecedented times but will do our best to continue to protect lives, livelihoods, and the environment.
Our offices have closed, and a significant number of our employees are doing their jobs from home. Our National Customer Contact Centre is virtually open and taking calls on 03708 506506 as is our Incident Communications Service. Please continue to report any environmental incidents to our hotline number 0800 807060. You can also register for flood warnings by calling Floodline on 03459 881188.