We have had some positive feedback following the release of the first edition of the EPA Connect newsletter in June 2014.
I want to thank those subscribers who have taken the time to provide us with their feedback and comments. You can email your thoughts and suggestions to email@example.com.
In this edition, you’ll read about the increased penalties that organisations and individuals now face if they break environmental laws, and the details of a landmark prosecution that the EPA won against chemical company Orica.
We also profile a new member of the EPA’s Hunter team, as well as Jeff Angel, a well-known environmental campaigner.
Environmental Officer Glen Turner
The news of the shooting death of environmental officer Glen Turner while he was working in Moree has had a significant impact on individual staff at the EPA, and on our organisation as a whole.
Glen, who worked for the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) in the combined OEH/EPA Armidale office, was a valued colleague, a good friend and a man with great empathy. His wealth of knowledge and experience will be sorely missed.
The particular circumstances of Glen’s death are both shocking and deplorable, and it is a reminder to us all of the challenges that frontline environmental officers face every day.
We recognise that community, environment groups, government and business often have diverse and sometimes conflicting interests and concerns, but it is a sad day when those conflicting interests result in the death of a man who was simply doing his job.
Last month we presented our submission to the Upper House Parliamentary Inquiry into the workings of the EPA.
The aim of the inquiry is to look at how we perform against our legislated objectives and specifically the way in which we have dealt with a number of issues including contamination at Botany, coal dust in the Hunter, ground water in the Pilliga, forestry operations in Royal Camp, a pollution incident at Girraween and the regulation of cruise passenger ships at the White Bay Cruise Terminal at Balmain.
We invite anyone with an interest in the inquiry to read our detailed submission, which outlines the EPA’s role and approach to environmental issues and the changes it has introduced to environmental regulation since it became an independent authority in 2012.
Public hearings will be held on 13 October, 10 November and 24 November, with the final report due in February 2015.
We welcome this opportunity to increase public awareness and understanding about the important role we play in protecting the evironment and communities of NSW.
Barry Buffier, EPA Chair and CEO