Today (17th November 2021) section 22 of the Environment Act 2021 and Schedule 1 which establish the Office for Environmental Protection (“OEP”) as a body corporate are commenced.
Commencement also brings into force today:
* section 23 which defines the OEP’s principal objective when exercising its functions and provides that the OEP must prepare a strategy that sets out how it intends to exercise its functions
* section 24 which sets out the process by which the OEP must publish, revise or review the strategy and how it must consult on it
* section 26 which sets out that the OEP and the Committee on Climate Change must prepare a memorandum of understanding which sets out how the OEP and the Committee intend to co-operate.
In addition, certain terms used in Part 1 of the Act are now in force:
* section 44 (meaning of “natural environment”)
* section 45 (meaning of “environmental protection”)
* section 46 (meaning of “environmental law”)
* section 47, which provides for the interpretation of further terms.
An interim OEP is already established.
Here is the OEP website
Here is the statement from DAERA (Northern Ireland)