Page 4668 - Week 12 - Thursday, 15 October 2009
Officers from the EPA regularly undertake routine patrols of all development sites ensuring that the controls detailed in the approved sediment and erosion control plans are installed, maintained and appropriate for the control of pollutants.
For development sites less than 0.3 hectares the ACT Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA), through the development approval process, requires details of the sediment and erosion controls. EPA officers routinely monitor these sites.
The EPA works closely with the MBA and HIA to educate and inform the development industry of their environmental responsibilities. The EPA has recently updated the Guidelines for Construction and Land Development in the ACT and has a comprehensive series of information sheets on all aspects of preventing pollution on development and building sites. These documents are available on the Department of the Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Water website and are circulated through ACT Government Shopfronts, ACTPLA and the HIA and MBA Display Centres.
(2) EPA Officers routinely patrol Canberra’s suburbs and urban environments. As part of those activities they pay particular attention to those areas where land development is occurring or has been recently completed to ensure the agreed pollution controls are in place. As construction and occupation of the houses, with consequent garden establishment, nears completion there is less need for officers to focus on those areas.
(3) The EPA has powers to prevent a pollutant, or the source of pollutant from being placed in a position where it could reasonably be expected to cause environmental harm. In addition if the EPA has reasonable grounds for believing that a person has contravened or is contravening a provision of the Environment Protection Act 1997 (the Act), the EPA may serve an environment protection order on that person. The Order may impose a requirement to remedy, prevent or mitigate the environmental harm.
(4) The EPA has undertaken the following enforcement actions against developers in the past:
(b) issue of environment protection orders;
(c) issue of infringement notices;
(d) issue of warning letters.
The EPA works co-operatively with the construction industry and promotes an educative approach in the first instance, however, where this is not successful in achieving the desired environmental outcome the EPA will utilise its enforcement powers available under the Act.
(5) There have been no prosecutions for breaches of the Act relating to development works in the past five years.
(Question No 308)
Ms Le Couteur asked the Minister for Planning, upon notice, on 27 August 2009 (redirected to the Chief Minister):