Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Draft Environmental Management and Pollution Control Amendment Bill 2022 (the Bill).

EDO has recently released its national report Implementing effective independent Environmental Protection Agencies in Australia: Best practice environmental governance for environmental justice (Best Practice EPA report). You can read the report here.

In that report, EDO makes recommendations about the elements of environmental governance required for effective independent Environmental Protection Agencies that are grounded in environmental justice, Cultural Protocols based on First Nations Lore, and international law. The Best Practice EPA report calls for a fundamental shift in the focus of EPAs from primarily supporting industry to operate through licensing of environmental impacts to protecting communities and the environment from environmental impacts, providing environmental justice for disadvantaged individuals and communities.

The following submission draws on the Best Practice EPA report recommendations to examine the Bill and proposes changes to Tasmania’s environmental legislation and Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to meet best practice regulatory standards.