From the CEO
Welcome to the latest edition of EPA Connect. The work of the EPA hasn’t stopped over the past few months during COVID-19, quite the opposite in fact and I’m grateful to our staff who continue to safely work with our stakeholders, undertake site visits and inspections, and respond to incidents.
The EPA's CEO Tracy Mackey
As COVID-19 restrictions now ease, being able to do more of the things we enjoy makes a big difference. I’m working in the office a couple of days a week and have been visiting some of our regional locations, and I’ve enjoyed going out to dinner with my family.
In response to COVID-19 we have also:
- called more than 900 licence holders to find out about the impacts of COVID-19 on their activities and offer advice and assistance. Most licensees reported some impacts from COVID-19, with the most common being changes to business operations, disruption to suppliers, consultants or contractors, and changes to customer service.
- supported the waste and recycling industry, non-healthcare facilities and strata managers by developing communications materials for their use on staying safe while handling waste including posters, social media messages and a series of fact sheets.
- informed pesticide, radiation, dangerous goods and waste stakeholders about COVID-19 payment deferrals and exemptions available to them, through direct engagement.
- provided expert advice to distillers to help manufacturers produce and distribute hand sanitiser safely.
On a forest inspection in Northern NSW
In other news
Over 16,000 people provided their feedback on the NSW Government’s draft 20-Year Waste Strategy and Plastics Plan. This proves the absolute importance of a robust waste management system to industry and to our community. The next step is to digest and use this feedback to create a comprehensive strategy by 2021.
Councils and the alternative waste treatment industry were invited in May to apply for funding of up to $24 million made available by the NSW Government to improve the recycling of kerbside waste.
As clean-up takes place across several bushfire-affected communities in NSW, the EPA is out and about providing support. Waste levy exemptions are helping many of those affected. Read about one property owner’s experience in this edition.
We are working to make changes to the EPA so that we can continue to improve our regulatory work, ensure consistency in our activities and to provide a better outreach and service to our stakeholders. We have a new internal structure now in place and we want to keep you informed and up to date about our activities, such as through this newsletter. We will be coming out to see many of you later in the year through a new regional visit program.
I invite you to read more about the EPA’s work in this edition.
Meanwhile, I wish you all to stay safe and well.