The UK Government has appointed the first non-executive members of the new Office for Environmental Protection (OEP).
Dr Paul Leinster, Professor Richard Macrory, Professor Dan Laffoley and Julie Hill are joining Chair Glenys Stacey in advising the government and holding public authorities to account for their implementation of environmental law.
The new independent statutory body, created under the Environment Bill, has the principal objective of contributing to environmental protection and the improvement of the natural environment.
It will provide scrutiny as well as monitor and report on progress against environmental improvement plans and targets.
In addition, the OEP will be able to receive and investigate complaints on alleged serious breaches of environmental law by public authorities and take legal action in serious cases if necessary as a last resort.
The role of the OEP Board includes setting the long term direction for the executive team and the tone and pace needed to deliver the agreed strategy and plans and consider recommended courses of action and provide insight and direction for staff implementing the OEP’s functions.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “These appointments will help to establish a world-class Office for Environmental Protection that champions and upholds environmental protections.
“Through our landmark Environment Bill, we will ensure the OEP is a strong and independent body that holds the government to account and plays a key role in our commitment to enhance our environment as we build back greener.”