From the CEO
Welcome to the latest edition of EPA Connect news. I am delighted and privileged to have been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in October
I have a personal passion for protecting the environment for our communities. I’ve spent time in all three tiers of government across town planning, housing, emergency services, human and social services and most recently as Executive Director Early Childhood Education with the NSW Department of Education. I look forward to bringing my experience in policy, regulation, and engagement to the environment portfolio.
I’ll be leading the EPA in a time when protection of the environment is at the forefront of the community’s mind. Engaging with community, industry and other stakeholders on their hopes and concerns for human health and the environment is an integral part of the work of the EPA as leader, protector and partner – and placing stakeholders at the centre of our work is an important part of how we tackle regulatory challenges.
We will continue to make sure we are a risk-based regulator with the right tools, including the best intelligence and regulatory systems, to underpin our work to reduce pollution and waste, protect human health, and prevent degradation of the environment.
One such EPA-led initiative, the NSW Asbestos Waste Strategy was released in early November. The strategy is focused on making it easier and cheaper for households to dispose of asbestos waste and better management of illegal dumping and improper disposal. This strategy is the result of social research, ongoing feedback from stakeholders, pilot programs and evaluation of existing processes.
In the past few weeks, the EPA has been instrumental in the emergency response and recovery efforts for the recent bush fires in NSW. We are keeping our licensees informed of potential safety issues should their premises come under threat. Our specialist assessment officers are ensuring the assessment and safe disposal of contaminated debris – such as anything containing asbestos – in the aftermath of fires.
The EPA will continue to play a major role in leading discussions during the recovery period, and the government has waived the waste levy fee for residents disposing of bushfire generated waste in a number of areas across the state.”
I am particularly proud of and grateful to the many EPA staff who are lending their expertise and time to help manage this extremely challenging situation for our community and the environment.
You can read more about the EPA’s waste management initiatives, our key role in emergency services and as environmental educators, the importance and strength of our community engagement and other news, in this edition of EPA Connect.