Interim Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) Launched

On 1 July, the OEP was launched on an interim basis and will be overseeing the government’s environmental activities. This will run until its formal establishment expected by the Environment Bill in Autumn, currently in the committee stage in the House of Lords.

The OEP is a welcomed development, considered one of the most important organisations of our time. It is the first step to creating a new and more powerful independent environmental regulator, holding real authority over both the government and public bodies.

The first meeting which took place on 1 July, was held at the new headquarters based in Worcester, a move from the previous arrangements which had been in place since the start of January.

The interim OEP will carry out a number of functions until the full body is created, these include:

  • Produce and publish an independent assessment of progress with regards to the 25-year Environment Bill, implemented by the government.
  • Develop the OEP strategy including its enforcement policy
  • Accept complaints from the public, on failures of public authorities to comply with environmental law.
  • Monitor operational matters, including staff recruitment, accommodation and facilities
  • Determine how OEP will operate positively, creating a strong voice and character.

The Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow says;

“Protecting the environment is paramount, demanding a need for a world-class OEP and ensuring its efficiency at the earliest convenience is essential.”

Dame Glenys Stacey, the chair of the interim OEP, is too, delighted with its implementation and says;

“We can begin to make rapid progress now in growing the organisation, resulting in positive differences to the environment that we so wish to see.”

If you have any queries regarding the implementation of the interim Office for Environmental Protection, please contact our Policy Leader, Martin Hyde on or call 01756 794951.