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Office of Environment & Heritage works to protect and conserve the NSW environment

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Established in April 2011, the Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH) is a separate office within the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet that works to protect and conserve the NSW environment.

The NSW environment as defined here includes "the natural environment, Aboriginal country, culture and heritage and our built heritage."

On an operational level, the OEH develops and leads policy, reform and education in areas relevant to the environment, including:

  • sustainability
  • biodiversity and native vegetation
  • coastal protection; and
  • Aboriginal cultural heritage

The OEH also manages 6.8 million hectares of NSW national parks and reserves, which accounts for almost 9 per cent of land in NSW.

The Heritage Branch within OEH works with communities to identify important places and objects and provides guidance in looking after heritage items.

In addition to supporting eight internal functional areas, the OEH provides services and other support including staff to:

  • the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust
  • NSW Environmental Trust
  • Lord Howe Island Board
  • Western Sydney Parkland Trust
  • Parramatta Park Trust
  • Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust
  • Historic Houses Trust
  • Taronga Conservation Society Australia; and 
  • the EPA.

The EPA became a separate statutory authority in February 2012, and is responsible for environmental regulation and associated activities throughout NSW.

Overseen by the EPA Board, the EPA delivers regular State of the Environment reports, and is responsible for environmental regulation, particularly the regulation of:

  • air emissions
  • contaminated sites
  • dangerous goods and hazardous materials
  • noise
  • pesticides
  • forestry activities
  • waste; and 
  • water quality.

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