The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has released a draft revision of its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures for public feedback as it moves towards implementing amendments to the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act).
Amendments to the EP Act were passed by Parliament in November 2020 and affect the EPA’s entire environmental impact assessment process, under Part IV of the Act.
In order to implement the EP Act amendments, the EPA has revised its EIA procedures suite. EPA Chair Professor Matthew Tonts said the revised procedures would create more streamlined processes to help the EPA reach better environmental outcomes.
“These proposed procedures will allow the EPA to focus on the key drivers of achieving environmental protection and lead to greater rigour in the assessment and assurance of environmental outcomes,” Professor Tonts said.
“This consultation process is an opportunity to hear from our stakeholders and address any operational issues with the roll-out of the amendments. The EPA is committed to working with stakeholders and industry to find practical ways of implementing these changes to procedures.”
Revisions to the EIA procedures include:
• A consistent focus on environmental significance and environmental outcomes throughout the EPA’s assessment processes
• Changes to the information required by proponents seeking to amend their proposals
• Streamlined Environmental Scoping Documents.
The EP Act amendments also facilitate an approvals bilateral agreement with the Commonwealth to remove duplication of environmental assessment and approvals. The amendments also allow for future cost recovery. These will be consulted through a separate process later this year.
Along with the public consultation, the EPA is engaging directly with its Stakeholder Reference Group to ensure industry and stakeholders can anticipate how the amendments will change processes and may affect them.
The consultation is open from today until May 31. For more information on the consultation, visit the EPA website.
EPA Media Advisor: Jenni Storey 0434 734 997