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- Published on Thursday, 12 February 2015 13:33
- Written by EPAadmin
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d) Monitoring Compliance:
Monitoring compliance with the law and maintaining a credible risk of detection. A core function of the EPA is to determine levels of compliance with current standards and laws, and maintain a credible risk of detection of non-compliance. The EPA’s primary focus is on prevention; wherever possible, we want to ensure that incidents of non-compliance and their impacts are avoided. The EPA constantly improves its capacity to detect and respond to non-compliance. When the EPA identifies or becomes aware of a problem or a risk, it seeks to resolve the problem before it leads to an impact on the environment. Monitoring compliance and investigating non-compliance is therefore a key role for EPA.
e) Enforce the Law:
Requiring parties to make good any (or ‘the’) harm caused and deterring non-compliance, The EPA addresses non-compliance with the law and standards by objectively and assertively requiring remedy and, where appropriate, applying sanctions. ‘Enforcement’ means the use of influence, authority and statutory methods to compel compliance with the law.
Enforcement of environmental requirements should be undertaken for the purpose of:
- Better protecting the environment and its economic and social uses;
- Ensuring that no commercial advantage is obtained by an person who fails to comply with environmental requirements; and
- Influencing the attitude and behavior of persons whose actions may have adverse environmental impacts or who develop, invest in, purchase or use goods and services which may have adverse environmental impact.
Enforcement is just one way of achieving compliance. The EPA can take enforcement action when legal requirements are contravened or not complied with. Requiring parties to meet their legal obligations or remedy their non-compliance is a key part of enforcing the law.
Enforcement has two key elements:
- Remedy: Fixing the problem or “making good”; and
- Sanction: Applying a penalty or punishment for breaking the law.
The EPA will use enforcement to address non-compliance, fix the problem and restore and ‘make good’ the harm caused by breaking the law. It may not always be possible to restore the environment to its previous state, so the EPA will require offenders to ‘make good’ by minimizing the extent of the damage or risks and taking all reasonable steps to remediate the impacts.
Remedy and punishment can be used in combination, but all contraventions of the law will be met with a requirement to fix the problem.
( i ) Remedy: Fix the problem or make good
The first goal of enforcement is to stop non-compliance with the law and prevent further harm. Stopping non-compliance with the law or preventing or limiting harm may be done, for example, through an Authorised Officer, a pollution abatement notice, or giving direction.
EPA will bring into effect the principles of the EP Act that the polluter should pay the cost of cleaning up pollution they have caused and restoring the environment.
( ii ) Sanction: Apply a penalty or punishment for breaking the law
Sometimes remedying a breach is insufficient to deter lawbreakers. In some cases, enforcement can include punishment, such as when people are prosecuted for serious breaches of the law. Punishing law breakers is an important and effective way of deterring people from breaching their environmental obligations.
Sanctioning generally deters those offenders who might evade their obligations or seek profit from breaking the law. In some circumstances, it will be necessary to specifically deter them from offending in the future. It also levels the playing field financially for those who do the right thing and invest in prevention and environmental improvement.
f) Encouraging higher performance:
Building the case for improving practices and influencing future standards, The EPA will develop and work with leaders and partners to encourage higher performance and leadership, building the case for improving practices and influencing future standards. The EPA will work in partnership to promote higher performance and improvement that is aligned with EPA’s priorities, is focused and will develop future standards. We will drive performance, improvements and leadership that may apply to specific sites, sectors, geographic areas and business and industry groups. This may involve establishing and supporting networks, holding seminars, publicizing case studies, organising field visits, and providing grants, in-kind support and incentives for people comply and go beyond minimum standards.
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