Clearing the Air: Opportunities for improved regulation of pollution in New South Wales

Clearing the Air: Opportunities for improved regulation of pollution in New South Wales

This discussion paper was prepared by EDO NSW at the request of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC) to inform the future direction of pollution regulation and the NSW Environment Protection Authority.

The paper describes the regulatory framework for the management of pollution in NSW, and outlines significant shortcomings of the current system in protecting human health and the environment. The discussion paper is divided into sections addressing existing pollution regulation; the need for an integrated inter-agency approach; key elements of an effective pollution management system; opportunities for enhancing community engagement; and priorities for effective compliance and enforcement.

This Paper proposes an enhanced approach to managing pollution in NSW that:

  • places duties on regulators and polluters to minimise and, where possible, eliminate pollutants from entering our environment
  • sets pollution management on an objective, scientifically based foundation
  • strengthens the role of the EPA in strategic planning and decision making
  • strengthens the pollution licencing system and increases transparency around information relating to polluting activities
  • enhances and broadens the use of existing tools to minimise pollution loads and drive continual improvement
  • strengthens community engagement in pollution management decisions, and
  • enhances the EPA’s role as an independent regulator.

2012 - Download PDF