EPA releases draft environmental guidelines on the publication of monitoring data

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26 March 2012

In January 2012, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) released draft guidelines (EPA Guidelines) which set out the requirements for holders of environment protection licences (Licensees) to publish pollution monitoring data.

The aim is to assist Licensees to publicly report monitoring results clearly and efficiently, while minimising the requirements for Licensees to comply with this obligation under section 66(6) of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW) (POEO Act).

Invitations for public comments closed on 24 February 2012.

Background

Section 66(6) of the POEO Act requires:

  • Licensees who undertake monitoring as a result of a licence condition to publish monitoring data that relates to pollution within 14 days of obtaining the data.
  • Licensees who maintain a website to make the monitoring data available in a prominent position on the website.
  • Licensees who do not maintain a website to provide a copy of the monitoring data to any person who requests a copy of the data, at no charge.
  • the data must be published in accordance with requirements issued in writing by the EPA – the EPA Guidelines constitute such written requirements.

A Licensee who supplies information which is false or misleading in a material respect is liable to a penalty of $1,000,000 for a corporation or $250,000 for an individual.

The requirement to publish monitoring data commences on 31 March 2012. However, Licensees have until 1 July 2012 to comply.


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The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.


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