Monday, 12 February 2018


Will the Situation Improve Following EPA Chief's Resignation?

Barry Buffier, chairman and chief executive of the NSW Environment Protection Agency (EPA) retired late last year after what the Sydney Morning Herald referred to as “a year of intense scrutiny” of the organisation.

Some of the problems with the EPA which led  to this scrutiny in the media in 2017 were:

- Failures in dealing effectively with breaches of forestry regulations by Forests NSW.  (For a considerable time the North-East Forests Alliance - NEFA - has been highlighting failures of 
the EPA to follow-up reports of breaches as well as the inadequate penalties imposed when the agency has taken action.)

- An inadequate policy for dealing with waste contamination including asbestos on residential land in Sydney. (The EPA policy was not to declare significant contamination of residential land for fear of hurting property prices.)

- An inability to deal with the extent of inter-state waste trafficking as NSW operators were trucking large quantities of waste to Queensland to avoid NSW waste levies.

The Chair of the NSW Nature Conservation Council (NCC) , Don White, said, " The conservation movement has felt the EPA under Mr Buffier has at times identified more closely with the industries it regulates than the communities whose interests it is supposed to protect."

It will be interesting to see if the EPA does a better job under new leadership.

Source for this post.