Meet our Enviroline - we're ready to take your call
The EPA’s 24/7 Environment Line received close to 84,000 enquiries last year. With questions ranging from ‘what is that pong?’ to ‘What do I do with the radiation core in my lounge room?’ no call is too difficult. If the team can’t help, they’ll know who can. Meet Zane Scott and the team ...
Some of the 15 highly skilled Environment Line operators
The 24-hour Environment Line 13 15 55 is a vital avenue for the public to provide feedback and report pollution.
Last year, the Line received a whopping 83,805 phone calls, with well over half those calls specifically for the EPA. The lion’s share of calls related to suspected reports of pollution and concerns about noise and air quality. “Our motto is to never result in a dead-end for the caller,” Zane told EPA Connect.
“We resolve around 75% of calls during the initial call and this is important to ease the workload of our operational and technical staff,” he said.
“If we can’t resolve the call, we refer on – common points of referral are local council, other agencies, sometimes even the police.
“Our team really knows their stuff – due in no small part to the fact that we have a combined 165 years’ service on the team and 75 years’ service in the EPA generally!”
“We are proud to be able to help our operational staff act quickly in an environmental emergency – for instance responding to a call about a potential radiation hazard which required the EPA, HAZMAT and Fire and Rescue NSW units to be immediately deployed to investigate. Or the recent call about noxious fumes coming from a large stockpile of chemicals,
"Following a call reporting an oil spill at Narooma, we quickly notified our operational teams and supporting agencies to ensure immediate action could be taken to contain the spill.
"The Environment line also take a large number of calls during emergencies such as bushfires and floods, where we provide critical updates or refer people to the right number to call.”
Zane said other times, callers can be quite distressed, and the team need to call on their special skills of calmly finding the right avenue to help them.
“It isn’t unusual for the Enviroline to refer to local health services or the police if it appears someone is in danger to themselves or others,” Zane said.
The Environment Line also received and responded to 36,302 email enquiries and reports during the past year.