The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is Tasmania's principal environmental regulator and as a statutory authority was separated from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) on 1 December 2021. Legislative amendments are being progressed to support the administrative and physical separation of the EPA from NRE Tas, and reinforce the EPA as a stand-alone statutory agency headed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to improve independence, transparency and efficiency, especially with regard to assessment, regulatory and compliance functions.
The EPA is established under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994, which provides for:
- the establishment of the Environment Protection Authority, with a Board and Director;
- the Authority to be part of the Resource Management and Planning System (RMPS);
- the membership of the EPA Board, with an independent chairperson, deputy chairperson, two other independent members and the Director;
- the Board's functions to be clearly focused on achieving the objectives of the Act and to provide the Board with the capacity to provide advice to the Minister on issues that may significantly affect the achievement of the objectives of the Act;
- a requirement for the Board to prepare an annual report for tabling in Parliament;
- a requirement for the Minister to prepare a Statement of Expectation and the Board to prepare a Statement of Intent; and
- the authorisation of officers by the Director.
As part of the RMPS, the EPA has strong integration with the other Acts and in particular, the Land Use and Planning and Approvals Act 1993.
The EPA Director also has responsibilities under the: