The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has released its Strategic Plan 2016-19 which sets out the EPA's key priorities for the next three years, bringing together the work and aims of the EPA Board, Director and staff of EPA Tasmania.
EPA Tasmania is the new name of the Division (previously EPA Division) of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) that supports the independent statutory regulation and assessment by the Board and Director. The Strategic Plan covers the areas of Assessment, Regulation, Compliance, Monitoring, Remediation, Policy, Incident Response and Communications.
Key priorities for the EPA over the next three years are:
1. To ensure that the process for assessing Level 2 activities is as efficient and effective as possible and that the requirements for applicants in terms of time, cost and information are proportional to the level of environmental risk
2. To ensure that the regulation of Level 2 activities is transparent and effective in reducing environmental impacts, and proportionate to the environmental risk posed by these activities
3. To employ a strategic approach to enforcement across the full spectrum of industry compliance, encouraging self-regulation while also ensuring successful prosecution to resolve environmental pollution issues
4. To coordinate the collection and reporting of data sets for environmental quality to facilitate the identification of important environmental issues and broader trends
5. To coordinate and support the remediation of pollution and rehabilitation of Savage River
6. To maintain and update the policies that guide the EPA’s approach to the regulation of pollution
7. To maintain and enhance emergency response capacity and preparedness for pollution events, including marine oil spills
8. To develop and implement communication and engagement strategies to support key priorities for environmental management, promote the goals of the EPA and meet the community’s expectations.
Some of the objectives and projects to be meet the priorities within the 2016 Plan, include the following:
• Review the assessment process according to the level of risk and ensure this integrates with the Statewide Planning Scheme
• Update the regulatory system and investigate the introduction of an environmental licence instrument
• Establish salmon farming as a regulated activity and integrate it within the EPA’s regulatory framework
• Review the effectiveness of the fee remission scheme
• Review and formalise the regulatory approach to wastewater activities
• Review data management systems and develop a contemporary monitoring strategy
• Review existing compliance tools, and review and update the Compliance Policy
• Develop a draft Environment Protection Policy (Water Quality) for consideration by the Government
• Review the Tasmanian Air Quality Strategy 2006
• Develop a management strategy for waste tyres
• Replace the Pollution of Waters by Oil and Noxious Substances Act 1987 with a new Marine Pollution Act
• Provide incident and emergency response training
• Develop systems to improve public access to information about the regulation of Level 2 activities
• Engage with Local Government regarding waste management and incident response for Level 1 and Level 2 activities
• Review services provided by Analytical Services to internal Government clients
• Develop cross-disciplinary project teams to generate broader understanding of environmental management roles across the regulatory spectrum.