Environment review moving fast

An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could soon become a reality thanks to a report on the Review of Environmental Governance.

The report - a summary of the findings of the Review team chaired by Tom Burke - describes ‘almost universal support’ for the creation of an EPA. 

Established by the Government, the Review is an independent inquiry to decide whether an agency is needed. 

The Review's listening exercise took the form of meetings-in-public, written submissions and a number of study visits to other jurisdictions. 

The report makes no recommendations, but it indicates support for an EPA to regulate pollution and the natural environment. Protection of the historic built environment is excluded though. 

Other points of note are:

  • decriminalisation of regulatory failure
  • use of 'administrative penalties'
  • the EPA to take its own prosecutions

The final report is expected in March 2007 following a further consultation. 

Have your say

If you have an opinion on the future structure of environmental governance in NI, the Review panel would love to hear from you. Full details of how to get involved can be found at http://www.regni.info/ or by phoning 028 90541031.

A message board is now up and running so you can quickly and easily add your comments and join the debate. You can submit views on environmental governance, comment on the regni website, or respond to views expressed by another contributor.  Please read the Review's message board policy (PDF† format) for further information.