Authors: Johanna Kennerley, Senior Associate & Shaun Pryor, Solicitor
The NSW Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently introduced new guidelines in relation to recovering monetary benefits from environmental offenders.
Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW) (POEO Act), the EPA has the power to apply to the Court for a monetary benefit order to be imposed on environmental offenders requiring them to pay back any monetary benefits made as a consequence of non-compliance with environmental laws. Other states in Australia have a similar power, however it appears that the power is not often used.
The new Guideline on recovering monetary benefits from environmental offenders provides guidance on when the EPA will seek a monetary benefit order and how the EPA will investigate and calculate such orders. The guideline has been introduced alongside a new Protocol for calculating monetary benefits and Non-compliance Economic Assessment Tool (NEAT) Model.