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Improving enforcement

Improving enforcement

By Dr Joseph Monaghan

Environmental Protection 

The Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 comes into effect in 2020 and will have significant implications for environmental law enforcement. Snapshot The Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 substantively amends the Environment Protection Act 2017. The amendments will establish a new general environmental duty to notify the EPA of pollution incidents and a duty to notify of contaminated land. It will allow an interested person to seek a “civil remedy” restraining a person from engaging in conduct that is not in compliance with the Act or relevant permissions. The 2014 Hazelwood open coalmine fire blazed near Morwell for six weeks, shrouding the town and surrounding areas in smoke and ash. The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) subsequently came under criticism from Victorian Environment Minister Lisa Neville MLA in relation to delay in enforcement action against the owners of Hazelwood over the coalmine fire disaster.1

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