Environmental compliance and legislation
New South Wales has a number of laws to help protect the environment and provide guidance to business.
The Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) is the main piece of NSW environmental legislation covering water, land, air and noise pollution and waste management.
Breaking environmental laws can result in serious penalties. Even unintended environmental damage can result in prosecution and penalties. Businesses need to minimize the risk of an environmental incident by implementing precautionary and control measures.
Manage the risk to your business and to the environment by making sure everyone involved in your business – owners, managers, supervisors, operators, contractors and subcontractors – understands the environmental requirements that apply to your operations.
A comprehensive approach to addressing regulatory requirements includes:
- developing a plan that incorporates environmental management
- undertaking staff training and supervision
- completing a self-assessment or independent audit
Going even further
Organizations are realizing the financial and other benefits of environmental performance that goes beyond what is required by the letter of the law.
While an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) helps to manage compliance risks, many of the recommendations in DECC’s step-by-step guide to developing an EMP go beyond minimum requirements. They help to build a more sustainable business by identifying and responding to environmental issues.
Cleaner production goes beyond meeting regulatory obligations and looks for further improvements to benefit the company as well as the environment – by reducing environmental impacts along the entire life cycle of a product/service, by conserving resources (raw materials, energy and water), eliminating toxic raw materials and reducing the quantity and toxicity of all emissions and wastes.
Page last updated: 27 February 2011