Data leads the way to future risk prevention
CEO Tracy Mackey introduces the EPA’s expansion into data analytics and intelligence as a driving force to becoming a world class regulator.
Our growing use of data includes spatial maps for tracking underground fuel storage sites..
Speaking at the recent Hatchery- Intelligence-led Regulation Conference, Tracy Mackey outlined that the EPA is investing in our workforce, strategies and digital tools to expand the EPA’s decision-making capability.
“Timely intelligence is crucial for regulators – it can help us get ahead by detecting threats and prioritising the deployment of resources,” Tracy said.
“World class intelligence is founded on quality data and information and it is supported by leading digital tools and techniques – for example we are already using drone footage to gather evidence for prosecutions.”
The EPA is now embedding improved data analytics and intelligence planning through a new Digital Transformation Strategy in parallel with the 2021-24 Strategic Plan.
“As a regulator we need to be on the front foot as our communities, environments, and government face an increasing rate of disaster and disruptions,” Tracy said.
“This can involve horizon scanning to plan for future environmental responses.
“One project that we’re working on is supporting councils by investigating communities at risk of groundwater contamination.
“For communities reliant on groundwater as their primary household water source, a nearby leaking underground fuel storage system can contaminate soil, groundwater and surface water. This can be catastrophic economically, socially, and environmentally and we have already seen it happen in a small community in northern NSW.
“We have developed a spatial analysis tool to identify the greatest risks to community health and the environment from around 3,500 underground fuel storage systems in NSW.
“This work has helped us to identify and hopefully prevent future contamination issues.
“By partnering with industry, the community, and governments we are looking forward to being able to collect and manage information on global trends and using the latest foresight technology.”
Find out more in our Strategic Plan