Polluters to publish monitoring data from 1 July
Media release: 4 July 2012
As part of the NSW Government’s commitment to revitalising and strengthening the EPA, the State’s environmental polluters are now required by law to publish pollution monitoring data on their websites, in accordance with the EPA requirements.
EPA Acting Chief Environmental Regulator, Mark Gifford, said the new publishing requirements will help to make industry more transparent and accountable for its impacts on the environment and surrounding community.
“These new requirements reflect a new era in environment protection and give communities more access to information about industries and their practices in NSW,” said Mr Gifford.
From 1 July, all holders of environment protection licences under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 must publish monthly summaries of relevant pollution monitoring data that has been collected as a result of a condition of their licence.
“What this means is that any licensee with a public website must publish their monitoring results, including air and water pollution, and that data must be easy to interpret and be displayed prominently.
”Now anyone concerned about environmental pollution in their community can go online and immediately find out what is being emitted, and from where,” Mr Gifford said.
Mr Gifford said that those licensees who do not have a website are still required by law to make available any relevant pollution monitoring data, if it is requested in writing.
The new pollution monitoring data requirements are part of a wider program of reform being introduced following the revitalisation of the EPA earlier this year.
The NSW Government introduced changes to how pollution incidents are both reported and managed, with licensees required to immediately report any pollution incidents and prepare and implement pollution incident response management plans and have these in place by 1 September 2012.
Mr Gifford said the agency was also working on providing more information to the community about the industries it regulates by expanding the amount of information made accessible to the public, via the EPA’s public register.
“The POEO Public Register is an online searchable database which includes information on; environment protection licences, notices, prosecutions under the POEO Act, results of civil proceedings and licence review information,” said Mr Gifford.
”We are currently working on expanding and updating the Register to include information on pollution reduction programs and penalty notices issued by the EPA as well as making it more user friendly.
“The EPA now has in place a much tougher and tighter regulatory regime, which combined with greater transparency and accountability for industry, will help us to achieve a healthier environment for the people of NSW.”
Contact: Richelle Pellegrini
Page last updated: 04 July 2012