Who we are

Tackling local pollution and waste issues

In February 2018, EPA welcomed 11 Officers for the Protection of the Local Environment.

Known as 'OPLEs', the officers complement the work of EPA’s authorised officers and are part of a pilot program that aims to improve responses to small-scale pollution, waste, and health and wellbeing issues; improve industry compliance with environmental obligations; prevent harm; and strengthen EPA’s relationships with local government.

Authorised under the Environment Protection Act 1970, OPLEs work with their assigned councils to identify and resolve smaller scale local pollution and waste issues such as small-to-medium scale illegal dumping, litter, noise, and dust and odour complaints arising from business and industry. Hitting the ground running, our OPLEs responded to 335 incident reports and completed 299 inspections at 236 locations up to 30 June.

As well as responding to live issues, OPLEs are currently working on longer-term projects within their councils and communities. These projects include the roll-out of a stormwater improvement project with motor vehicle wreckers to identify and assess potential contamination, and the implementation of a program for local builders to increase awareness of their environmental obligations.

Our thanks to pilot program partners, the municipalities of Central Goldfields, Buloke, Loddon, Port Phillip, Casey, Greater Dandenong, Surf Coast, Wyndham, Greater Shepparton, Mildura, Wodonga, Brimbank and Hobsons Bay for their ongoing support.

An interim evaluation report for the OPLE pilot program was delivered in late June 2018 and will help determine next steps.

OPLEs have enhanced EPA’s statewide network

Our OPLEs are working with 13 councils across the state to better meet community needs. They're also helping us strengthen relationships between EPA's regions and their neighbouring councils. The map below shows our regions and the pilot councils. Click on the council names below to show their locations on the map.

Created with Sketch. North WestSouth WestMetroSouthern MetroGippslandNorth East

We work with a wide variety of industries, including:

Food proprietors



Motor wreckers

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Page last updated on 31 Dec 2018