As the Assembly was not sitting at the time, DAERA officials developed a range of Northern Ireland provisions for the Environment Bill with colleagues in the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The provisions relating to environmental plans, principles and governance are subject to decisions by Ministers and the Assembly as to whether they are brought into operation.
The Environment Bill was introduced to Parliament on 30 January 2020 and sets out the options for Ministers to:
- prepare and publish environmental improvement plans;
- embed environmental principles into policy decisions of NI Departments; and
- extend an Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) to Northern Ireland.
Given that decisions on future environmental plans, principles and governance arrangements for Northern Ireland will be a matter for the local administration this is your opportunity to provide views on how these functions are addressed in the post-Brexit era. Your comments and suggestions will allow Northern Ireland Ministers to make decisions as to which sections (if any) will be commenced and when.
If you do not feel these are the most appropriate mechanisms or organisational structures for good environmental governance then we welcome your comments and opinions on alternatives.