New Statutory Instrument - The Reservoirs Act (Panels of Civil Engineers) (Applications and Fees) Regulations 2021

A new Statutory Instrument has recently been published regarding reservoir engineer panels for England and Wales from 1 January 2022 and change of application fee from 1 April 2022.

The Secretary of State and the Welsh Ministers have made a joint Determination to establish four joint reservoir engineer panels for England and Wales.

The new panels will commence on 1 January 2022 and will exist alongside and eventually replace the existing four panels originally formed in 1992. The Determination updates the arrangements between the Secretary of State and the Welsh Ministers to manage and operate the panels and works together with a joint statutory instrument, which sets out the application procedure and the application fee to the joint panels. The ICE Reservoirs Committee will make recommendations for appointments to the Secretary of State and Welsh Ministers (as they do now). Appointments to the joint panels will be made by the Secretary of State and the Welsh Ministers, acting jointly. 

 For applications made between 1 January 2022 and 31 March 2022 the application fee is £385. From 1 April 2022 the fee will be £450. This will cover applications being made to the England and Wales panels and to the Scottish Panels.

Table 1 shows how the existing panels and the new joint panels relate to each other. From 1 January 2022 applications will be to the new joint panels and the existing panels will be closed to new applications. The existing panels will continue to operate as engineers complete their current term of appointment. (Appointments are made for 5 years). The lists of reservoir panel engineers will continue to be published by the Environment Agency on Gov.UK for reservoir owners and operators to use.

Where applications are in progress to existing panels, letters will be sent to the applicants explaining the changes and seeking their consent that their application is taken to be an application to the corresponding joint panel. The applicant will not need to update or alter their application, and it will continue to be assessed by the ICE Reservoirs Committee as usual. For re-appointments, engineers will be able to apply as now without needing a reference from another panel engineer, providing that they apply before their current appointment ends – these will be treated as appointments to the joint panels. From 1 January 2022 new applications can be made to the joint panels.

Table 1: Reservoir Engineer Panels for England and Wales

Existing panel Corresponding joint panel from 1 January 2022
All Reservoirs Panel All Reservoirs (England and Wales) Panel
Non-Impounding Reservoirs Panel Non-Impounding Reservoirs (England and Wales) Panel
Service Reservoirs Panel Service Reservoirs (England and Wales) Panel
Supervising Engineers Panel Supervising Engineers (England and Wales) Panel

This change does not affect the assessment process, and all future appointments made by the Secretary of State and Welsh Ministers will continue to be on merit informed by recommendation from ICE. Information about the application process will be updated on the ICE’s website shortly.

A copy of the statutory Instrument can be found on here - The Reservoirs Act (Panels of Civil Engineers) (Applications and Fees) Regulations 2021

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