The EPA Board

About EPA board members

The current Board members have expertise in environmental law and science, corporate, financial and risk planning and management, as well as established ties to business and community groups. 

Anissa Levy, Acting Chair and CEO

Anissa Levy

Anissa Levy joined the EPA as Acting Chair and CEO on 12 March 2018.

Anissa has held several senior executive positions within the NSW Government. As Deputy CEO at Infrastructure NSW, Anissa oversaw the development, implementation and operation of the Infrastructure Investor Assurance framework, a risk-based framework for the oversight (review, reporting and monitoring) of the Government’s ambitious infrastructure program. Prior to joining Infrastructure NSW, Anissa was the Deputy Director General of Planning and Programs at Transport for NSW where she was responsible for the Transport Cluster capital budget, the Bureau of Transport Statistics, strategic integrated transport planning and transport project development.

Anissa is a civil engineer and her 25 years’ experience spans strategic transport planning, and infrastructure planning and delivery. Anissa has a mix of private sector as well as state and local government experience. 


Under Section 19 of the POEA Act, the Chair is charged with the responsibility of managing and controlling the affairs of the EPA, in accordance with the policies determined by the Board and any other decisions of the Board, but subject to any directions of the Minister under the POEA Act.

The Chair is also the presiding member of the Board.

Alec Brennan AM

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Mr Brennan brings to the EPA Board 40 years' experience in business across a range of industries including manufacturing, resources and distribution. He has been public company director for more than 20 years and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Mr Brennan has a BSc (Honours) Food Technology, UNSW; and an MBA (Distinction), City UK. He currently chairs publicly-listed mining services company Emeco Holdings Limited and is a director of several private companies. Mr Brennan is Pro Chancellor of Sydney University and chairs two Senate committees, the Finance and Audit Committee and the Human Resources Committee. He is also involved in a number of other not-for-profit activities. He brings to the Board extensive business experience in areas such as strategy, process management, governance, finance and risk management.

Mr Brennan also sits on the EPA Finance Audit and Risk Committee.

Mr Brennan received an AM (Member of the Order of Australia) in 2013 for significant service to business and commerce, to tertiary education administration, and to the community.

Christine Covington

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Ms Covington is a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW. She has over 28 years' experience in environmental, planning and property law. She is currently the National Practice Group Leader of the Environment and Planning Group at the law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth. She has served as a NSW Government appointee to the Central Sydney Planning Committee. Christine has experience in working with local governments and on community engagements. She also has extensive experience in the NSW Land and Environment Court and the Supreme Court in planning appeals and environmental prosecutions.

Chris Knoblanche AM

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Mr Knoblanche is a company director on various boards. Most recently he was a Senior Advisor, Corporate and Investment Banking, Australia and New Zealand for Citigroup. He has been advising local and multinational companies for over 34 years in areas such as corporate strategy, financing, risk control and management. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Financial Management) degree, is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and is a Fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants. He has held key Board positions and in 2001 was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Australian Government for service to Australian society through business and the arts.

In June 2014, Chris was honoured as a member in the general division of the Order of Australia for significant service to arts administration, to the community, and to the business and finance sector.

Mr Knoblanche is also the Chair of the EPA Finance Audit and Risk Committee.

Julie Savet Ward

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Ms Savet Ward has a Bachelor of Science (Applied Physical Geography) (Honours) degree, is a Master of Landscape Planning and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ms Savet Ward has 27 years' experience in science, planning and the environment. She has particular expertise in the regulatory environment for sustainability and a deep understanding of the planning, approval, design, construction and delivery of infrastructure, property and natural resource projects. She has particular skills in brokering and managing relationships between government and the community. Ms Savet Ward is the Chairperson of a charity and a private consulting company.

Functions of the EPA Board

The EPA Board:

  • determines the EPA's policies and long-term strategic plans
  • oversees management of the EPA
  • determines when the EPA should prosecute for serious environment protection offences under the Protection of the Environment Administration Act 1991
  • produces guidelines about criminal prosecutions and related legal proceedings
  • advises the NSW Minister for the Environment on any matter relating to the protection of the environment
  • provides the NSW Minister for the Environment with an annual statement about its performance as the leading NSW environmental regulator.

Disclosure of interest

For more information about the EPA’s governance, including rules about disclosure and conduct, see the see the EPA Annual Report.

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