Brown v Environmental Protection Authority

EDO NSW represented Mr AJ Brown in proceedings against the EPA and North Broken Hill Limited. The proceedings challenged the EPA policy of “prosecutable reality” (where pollution licence levels were raised to accommodate existing levels of pollution) and also sought a declaration that a licence to use the river for waste disposal should be accompanied by an Environmental Impact Statement. Importantly, the case also tested the right to bring proceedings in pollution matters. Following on from this, the Government passed laws exempting the EPA from the need to undertake environmental assessment when reviewing licences to pollute.