What EPA Tasmania is doing
In light of the current global situation with coronavirus disease (COVID-19), EPA Tasmania's priorities continue to be the health and wellbeing of our employees, as well as the mitigation of disruptions to the delivery of our regulatory activities.
EPA Tasmania has a business continuity plan. Recognising the importance of our function to the Tasmanian community we have now commenced implementing a specific pandemic plan within DPIPWE. We have processes in place to continue to deliver our regulatory functions — including capability of our staff to work remotely. We will continue to prioritise delivery of our compliance and enforcement and pollution response activities to prevent harm from pollution and waste.
We are in constant communication with our staff, regulatory partners and government whilst closely monitoring the situation, evaluating our policies as the situation evolves and focusing our effort where it is needed most. As the situation with COVID-19 is rapidly changing, we will make every effort to minimise the impact on our business and community stakeholders.
What EPA Tasmania expects from duty holders
EPA Tasmania recognises that this is an unprecedented challenge and the critical recommendation for all duty holders is to create and adopt a business continuity plan that ensures key processes can be continued if staff numbers begin to diminish. It is essential to decide what should happen in the short to medium term, and consider the longer-term impact, always following the advice of state and federal governments and any specific health advice for your sector.
EPA Tasmania advises that duty holders remain responsible for environmental impacts from their activities and should plan business continuity with that in mind.
In particular, duty holders should ensure that they are able to maintain and operate pollution control equipment. Solid and liquid waste must continue to be consigned and disposed of appropriately, and to approved facilities. Duty holders in the waste industry should maintain good communications with clients and EPA Tasmania, particularly around any predicted service disruptions.
If your activities are conducted under conditions imposed by EPA Tasmania in a permit, licence, notice or other approval, all conditions remain in force and must be complied with. If you need to make any changes to your operations that may affect emissions to the environment, please contact the EPA prior to implementing those changes.
Section 34 of EMPCA enables EPA Tasmania to grant emergency approvals for the protection of life, environment or property – for example, the discharge or storage of waste in certain circumstances. If you believe this will be required for your business, please contact EPA Tasmania as early as possible. Granting of such an approval will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and may be subject to conditions.