The EPA was established as an independent statutory authority under the
Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA) as an integral part of Tasmania's Resource Management and Planning System.
The EPA consists of a Board and a Director; the Board has an independent Chair, three other independent members – one of which is a Deputy Chair, alongside the Director. In addition, a Deputy Member may be appointed by the Governor if a Board member is unable for any reason to perform his or her duties.
The EPA's principal statutory functions are to administer and enforce the provisions of the EMPCA, and in particular, to use its best endeavours to:
- further the sustainable development and environmental management and pollution control objectives of the EMPCA
- ensure that activities do not cause unacceptable pollution
- advise the Minister on any matter that may significantly affect the achievement of the objectives of the EMPCA, and
- ensure that economic instruments and issues are considered in policy and program implementation.
The Board's primary functions are to assess environmental impacts and determine appropriate operating conditions for the larger scale developments described in EMPCA. Other areas of responsibility include environmental agreements, audits, improvement programs, financial assurances, the Environment Protection Fund, the Savage River Rehabilitation Project, fee remissions and policy implementation.
The EPA Director has a range of functions and powers prescribed in EMPCA, including a number of powers exercised under delegation from the Board; and is also responsible for administering the
Litter Act 2007 and the
Pollution of Waters by Oil and Noxious Substances Act 1987. The Director is in charge of the day-to-day regulatory decisions in relation to larger scale (Level 2) industrial activities, contaminated sites and issues of environmental harm or nuisance.
The Board and Director make determinations independently of the Minister and elected Government. They are supported in their roles by the staff of EPA Tasmania, a Division of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE).
Membership of Board
The Board consists of:
- the Chairperson, being a person who has expertise or experience in public administration and environmental or natural resource management
- the Director
- a person with practical knowledge of, and experience in, environmental management in industry, commerce or economic development
- a person with practical knowledge of, and experience in, environmental management and expertise in one or more of the following:
- environmental conservation
- natural resource management
- air, noise or water pollution
- management and prevention of waste
- environmental health
- social and economic analysis
5. a person with practical knowledge of, and experience in, environmental management in local government.
EPA Board members
The current membership of the EPA Board expires on 31 December 2020.