EPA Authorised Officers
VECCI recently hosted a presentation for the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria, where the EPA outlined details of their new five year plan. The EPA is Victoria’s environmental regulator and VECCI continues to work closely with the EPA to ensure good outcomes for businesses, Victorians and the environment.
The EPA’s role is to be an effective regulator and an influential authority on environmental impacts. In order to achieve compliance with the EPA Act, the EPA conducts targeted site inspections at sites impacting on or posing a risk to the environment. EPA site inspections are conducted by authorised officers.
For businesses operating in Victoria, it is important to understand the role, responsibilities and activities of EPA authorised officers and to be aware of the process and activities that they may undertake during a site inspection. It is also essential to understand your obligations during the process.
Throughout 2011-2012, the EPA intends to develop and improve guidance, procedures, support tools and training for their field officers.
As part of their one year plan for 2011-2012, the EPA is focusing on the manufacturing sector, specifically visiting the surface finishing industry (electroplater and powder coaters) and automotive wreckers and panel beaters. They will also continue to inspect landfill operations, the agricultural industry and water treatment facilities amongst others.
They will also continue to target hotspots that affect communities and the environment. In 2012, the EPA’s priorities are:
- Brooklyn – to achieve further reductions in odour and air quality events in the Brooklyn area.
- Clayton South – this area has a large number of licensed landfills operating close to residential areas. The EPA aim to reduce odour events from landfills.
- Illegal dumping – the EPA will continue to investigate and enforce against those who illegally dump construction and demolition waste. They will continue to provide guidance to inform business of their responsibilities and alternatives.
As part of the guiding principles in the new five year plan, the EPA intend to be more transparent and consistent, and this month the EPA have produced a clear, concise brochure explaining the role, powers and activities of their authorised officers. The brochure is available online here. The brochure is also available in printed format from EPA Customer Service - call 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).
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