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  • by Karma Loveday

Defra to set up Interim Office for Environmental Protection

Environment minister, Rebecca Pow, has set out plans for the launch of an interim Office for Environmental Protection (IOEP) ahead of its formal establishment as part of the Environment Bill.

From July, the new IOEP will be set up in non-statutory form to provide independent oversight of the government’s environmental progress and to accelerate the foundation of the full body. It will be able to:

  • produce and publish an independent assessment of progress in relation to the implementation of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan;

  • develop the OEP’s strategy including its enforcement policy;

  • receive complaints from members of the public about failures of public authorities to comply with environmental law;

  • take decisions on operational matters such as staff recruitment, accommodation and facilities; and

  • determine approaches for how the OEP will form and operate, establishing its character, ways of working and voice.

The interim body will be steered by chair, Dame Glenys Stacey, and interim chief executive, Natalie Prosser, together with other non-executive directors to be appointed in the coming weeks. Following Royal Assent of the Environment Bill, now expected in autumn, this group will formally become the board of the OEP as an independent legal entity.


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