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EPA marks anniversary by launching new strategic intentions

EPA marks third anniversary by launching four new strategic intentions

The Environmental Protection Authority is marking its third anniversary by launching four new strategic intentions to guide its work.

The EPA was established on 1 July 2011, merging people and work from three agencies - the Environmental Risk Management Authority, the Ministry for the Environment and the then Ministry of Economic Development.

In 2013, the EPA was given a new function, to manage the environmental risks of certain activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf.
Now, as it marks its third anniversary on 1 July, the EPA is setting its sights on four new areas:

· Improving the efficiency of the regulatory framework for hazardous substances

· Maximising confidence in the integrity and service delivery of the Emissions Trading Scheme

· Embedding the regulation of activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf

· Developing improved business capability through enhanced EPA systems.

The chair of the EPA board, Kerry Prendergast, says these areas will be the main focus of the EPA's work over the next three to four years.

"At the same time, we will also aim to excel in our 'business as usual' work of delivering robust and objective decisions on environmental matters, and ensuring people and businesses follow the rules".

Ms Prendergast notes the EPA's effectiveness is due to be reviewed in the coming year.

The review, conducted by the Ministry for the Environment, will consider the EPA's performance over its first three years of operation.

"The review is intended to make sure the EPA is meeting its responsibilities, and is funded appropriately," Ms Prendergast says.

EPA Chief Executive, Rob Forlong, says the organisation has worked hard over the past three years to establish itself as the nation's environmental regulator.

"We are proud of what we have achieved to date, and we're working toward a shared vision of being a world class environmental regulator."

"Some key achievements include a major reassessment of antifouling paints, which reviewed 60 paints or ingredients and determined that a third of them will banned or phased out.

"We also supported boards of inquiry to deliver decisions on 12 proposals of national significance."

"And we were ready to act in our new role in the EEZ the very day the Act came into force in June 2013."

Mr Forlong says the EPA takes its role very seriously, and is responsible for regulating activities that may adversely affect New Zealand's environment or the health and safety of people.

-----ENDS -----

Note to editors

The Environmental Protection Authority is the government agency responsible for regulatory functions concerning New Zealand's environmental management. These include:

• Administering applications for projects of national significance

• Management of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme and New Zealand Emission Unit Register

• Regulation of hazardous substances, new organisms, ozone depleting chemicals, hazardous waste exports and imports

• Assessment of environmental effects in Antarctica

• Managing the environmental effects of activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf.

Our work comes under six different environmental Acts:

• Resource Management Act 1991

• Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996

• Ozone Layer Protection Act 1996

• Climate Change Response Act 2002

• Imports and Exports (Restrictions) Act 1988

• Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012.


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