EPA Authorised Marine Officers
Five EPA staff from the Water Quality Branch recently completed training for accreditation as Authorised Officers under the Marine Parks Act 2007.
This will now enable them to undertake marine compliance activities and give them the authority to issue fines and expiation notices during the course of their duties, similar to Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) authorised officers.
This was identified as an effective way to optimise the use of both EPA and DEWNR resources with many of South Australia's metropolitan sanctuary zones overlapping the EPA's areas of operation.
EPA Director Science Assessment and Planning, Peter Dolan said this offers opportunities to use its resources to protect sanctuary zones by having additional eyes and ears on the water.
“Under this arrangement DEWNR will still be the Iead agency to administer the Marine Parks Act and will not necessarily oblige the EPA to apprehend or prosecute offenders in sanctuary zones,” Mr Dolan said.
“However it will provide an extended capability for this option to help further deter any activity that may pose a threat to these important South Australian marine areas.”