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11/4/2018 — Environment and Society
EPA looks at hazardous waste costs

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) says the cost of assessing hazardous substance applications are changing and it was looking to develop a more balanced approach to the way it charges for services.

“The services we provide in assessing and processing applications for hazardous substances and new organisms play a key role in the way we work to protect the NZ environment and the communities in which we all live, work and play,” said EPA chief executive Dr Allan Freeth.

“Under our existing approach applicants pay, on average, just over 10% of what it really costs us to manage an application from start to finish. That means that it falls to the taxpayer to pick up the rest. We don’t think that’s fair.

“With that in mind we are looking to develop a more realistic cost recovery approach that will see organisations who use our services pay a fairer share.

“That would, in turn, free up our Government funding and allow us to pump more money into reassessing chemicals of concern, ensuring enforcement and compliance with the rules around their use, and delivering information and advice to the public on staying safe around hazardous substances.”

The EPA is seeking public submissions on a consultation paper which outlines proposals for the increased charges.

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Dr Allan Freeth presenting at a Parliamentary Committee last week. Photo: Radio NZ.