I am very pleased to present EPA’s Annual Compliance Plan (ACP) for 2014–15.
The intent of this plan is to enable business, the community and government organisations to understand where EPA will be focusing its compliance effort for the year ahead and for them to prepare accordingly. It is also a commitment to Victorians that EPA will continue protecting the environment and Victoria’s future.
In 2013–14 EPA continued to deliver on its 5 Year Plan through the development of our people, improvement in our business systems, and delivery of strategic programs and prioritised activities. EPA delivered the majority of the commitments made within the ACP whilst improving many internal processes.
EPA trained 14 new authorised officers through our specifically designed three-month intensive Authorised Officer course, and delivered a sustained emergency response to the long-running Hazelwood open cut mine fire. In responding to this event, EPA officers from across the state conducted hundreds of field inspections to monitor the impact the fire was having on the environment in and around Morwell. The fire response challenged our delivery of the ACP, but it also demonstrated that EPA is able to respond to a sustained emergency incident and still perform other critical work.
In 2014–15, EPA will continue to work on the top six complex environmental problem areas identified in 2012–13, and continue to deliver related compliance and enforcement projects. EPA will also embed stronger risk and evidence-based prioritisation to target sites for compliance monitoring. We will collaborate across our network of co-regulators to gather intelligence and to identify other priority issues and/or sites.
Attending to all environmental problems is an ongoing challenge for environmental regulators. We will continue to regularly prioritise our list of activities and focus our available resources on the most critical issues. One way we will do this is by ensuring we look for emerging trends and patterns in pollution reports, and address problems strategically rather than reactively. In the last two years we have been working to build a flexible and effective field force that can consistently address the right issues in the right way across the state..
We ask for your continued support in helping us protect Victoria’s environment. Remember to report pollution you see in your community, review your operations, see where improvements can be made (no matter the size), and engage with your industry to make sure that you and your peers stand out as good environmental citizens. EPA needs both your support and engagement in the effort to create a productive and liveable Victoria for all.
Director – Environmental Regulation