What we do

We work with the community, industry, businesses and other government agencies to protect and enhance NSW’s environment.

We manage a large volume of day-to-day incidents, from minor transport or factory spills to coordinating the environmental response in significant asbestos waste and building fires. Our role in protecting human and environmental health will continue to be challenged by increasingly frequent, complex and diverse events.

Our emergency management role is to respond to emergencies where the environment is at risk of being impacted. Waste management and clean-up are a key function of this role in natural disaster and disease outbreak responses (pandemics and biosecurity emergencies).

We also:

  • issue environment protection licences to control activities that could have an impact on the environment or human health, and to encourage better environmental performance.
  • monitor emissions and compliance, conduct audits and investigate reports of pollution. If necessary we impose fines, require stricter operating conditions, impose pollution reduction programs and/or order people to clean up pollution.
  • prosecute organisations and individuals who break NSW environmental laws. EPA prosecutions can result in heavy fines and gaol sentences.