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  • by Karma Loveday

Office of Environmental Protection issues strategy consultation

The new Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) has published consultations on its draft strategy and draft enforcement policy. Together, they cover how it plans to work for the first 18 months, including its objectives, functions, short-term actions, engagement plan, approach to enforcement and how it proposes to prioritise work.

The OEP established its objectives as:

• sustained environmental improvement – government is held to account for delivery of environmental goals and targets, and its plans for environmental improvement; • better environmental law, better implemented – the environment is protected and improved, and people are protected from the effects of human activity on the natural environment, through better design and implementation of environmental laws;

• improved compliance with environmental law – government and other public authorities abide by environmental law so it can protect people and protect and improve the environment as intended; and

• organisational excellence and influence – the OEP is effective and efficient, with the authority, relationships, expertise, and voice to play its full part in national environmental governance.

The consultation listed the following main functions of the OEP:

  • scrutinising environmental improvement plans (EIPs) and targets – reviewing and reporting on progress in delivering EIPs, goals and targets;

  • scrutinising environmental law – monitoring and reporting on the implementation of environmental law;

  • advice – guiding government on proposed changes to environmental law and other matters related to the natural environment.

  • Enforcement – Investigating suspected serious failures to comply with environmental law by public authorities and enforcing compliance where needed.


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