Programs and initiatives

What do OPLEs do?

OPLEs are employed by EPA and embedded in their local council(s) to respond to smaller-scale and lower risk pollution and waste reports. These include dumping, litter, noise, dust, odour and illegal chemical and waste stockpiling from small-to-medium business and industry. OPLEs:

  • are authorised under the Environment Protection Act 1970 to enable their effective response to pollution reports such as by requiring remedial action to be undertaken
  • carry out proactive inspections of local businesses to support compliance; including providing information and educational support on prevention of pollution
  • build collaboration and efficiency between councils and EPA on local pollution issues
  • are authorised to gather evidence to assist with sanctioning and prosecutions, which are led by EPA
  • have clearly defined roles and responsibilities to complement the existing work of other EPA and council officers
  • do not undertake roles that are clearly councils’, but complement the work councils already do in environment and public health protection. Issues that require complex or technical responses are referred to EPA.

OPLEs’ duties include responding to reports, information and education activities to support prevention of pollution, and proactive inspections of premises to support compliance. They help to fill the gap between the localised work done by councils and the higher risk work done by EPA.

The priorities and activities of an OPLE are influenced by the municipality or municipalities’ characteristics and needs, within the parameters of the OPLE pilot.

The following case studies showcase outcomes and success stories from EPA OPLEs:

Page last updated on 27 Nov 2019