|3 April 2020
Important update from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation WA regarding statutory obligations and Coronavirus (COVID-19)
What the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation is doing
In light of the evolving situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19), I wish to advise that the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation will continue to meet its responsibilities as the State’s primary water and environmental regulator and prioritise the health and safety of staff, communities, industry and other partners. This includes minimising disruptions to its regulatory activities, offering guidance and asking for cooperation from industry and partners where needed.
The department acknowledges that this event is creating new challenges that require some changes in people’s behaviour to minimise the impact on the way businesses and service providers would ordinarily operate.
Please be assured that the department continues to be guided by the latest advice from the Commonwealth and State health authorities and will consider that advice in the delivery of its regulatory functions.
What we expect from you
As we face this situation together, the department recommends that all licence, permit and other approval holders create and adopt a business continuity plan to help meet their statutory responsibilities.
Statutory obligations including Ministerial Statements, water and environmental licence conditions and other regulatory responsibilities, remain in place, subject to any directions issued under the Emergency Management Act 2005 or the Public Health Act 2016.
If you plan to suspend operations, please do so in accordance with your approval.
If you anticipate any significant risk to your ability to comply with your statutory responsibilities under environmental, waste and water legislation, please notify us by email to Compliance@dwer.wa.gov.au.
In particular, if ongoing environmental monitoring and reporting is required, please make every effort to continue this work and notify us if you anticipate any difficulties.
All notifications regarding compliance should include sufficient detail to allow the department to understand and assess the reasons for any anticipated non-compliance or risk of non-compliance.
Licensees must continue to notify the department of pollution incidents.
Licensees in the waste industry should also continue to maintain good communications with clients and the department, particularly if they foresee any disruption to normal services.
On behalf of the department I hope your employees and families are safe and well.