Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, has announced the new environmental watchdog for England, the Office for Environmental Protection, will be launched on an interim basis ahead of its formal establishment as part of the Environment Bill.
From July, the new Interim Office for Environmental Protection will be set up in non-statutory form to provide independent oversight of the government’s environmental progress, in advance of the full statutory body being formed following Royal Assent of the Environment Bill. This is a move from the current interim environmental governance arrangements in place since the start of January and will allow the body to:
- Produce and publish an independent assessment of progress in relation to the implementation of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan
- Develop the Office for Environmental Protection’s strategy including its enforcement policy
- Receive complaints from members of the public about failures of public authorities to comply with environmental law
- Take decisions on operational matters such as staff recruitment, accommodation and facilities
- Determine approaches for how the Office for Environment Protection will form and operate, establishing its character, ways of working and voice.