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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/environment-agency-performance-information-fair-trader-scheme/public-task-statement--2
The Environment Agency’s overall objective is to protect and improve the environment for people and wildlife and contribute to sustainable development by implementing the policies of government departments. In doing this we seek to take an integrated approach in which we consider all elements of the environment when we plan and carry out our work. It allows us to identify the best environmental options and solutions, taking into account the different impacts on water, land, air, resources and energy.
2. Public Task
We contribute to the economy and support growth in many different ways. Our work in flood and coastal risk management helps reduce risks to people, properties and businesses, and infrastructure. We help prevent hundreds of millions of pounds worth of damage from flooding and work with others to deliver a range of environmental benefits, including the creation of new and restored habitats for wildlife. Through our investment in flood risk management infrastructure we not only reduce the risks of flooding and the costs associated with flooding incidents, but also support growth by helping to create new jobs and by bringing confidence to areas previously at greater risk of flooding. Our work as a regulator ensures that environmental and public health standards are met, helping to avoid the impacts and costs of poor health and improving the natural environment for beneficial uses. We work with businesses to reduce waste and save money, and help to ensure that the economy is ready to cope with a changing climate. By helping to restore previously degraded and contaminated local environments and reducing the risks of flooding, we contribute to the economic regeneration of neighbourhoods to benefit businesses and communities.
Our work in water resource planning and the regulation of water abstractions ensures there is enough water to meet the demands of a growing economy. By applying risk-based approaches widely to our regulatory work, reducing bureaucracy, simplifying guidance, and speeding up decision making and processing times for permits, we are reducing the administrative costs of regulation for businesses and making it easier for them to do the right thing. We also help to support sustainable growth through planning and development by improving our service as a statutory planning adviser and contributing to local strategic growth initiatives including LEPs and Enterprise Zones. By working closely with others including other statutory bodies we are improving the efficiency of our operations and providing better services for customers.
Through our Board we are responsible to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. We work closely, and in partnership, with other agencies in the Defra Network, other government departments, and with local authorities. We have a presence across England with teams based in 16 Areas actively working in their local communities.
We use and share technical and scientific data and evidence – our own and others’ – to understand the environment and underpin all of our work. We work with other organisations across the Defra Network to report on the state of the natural environment in England and to assess the scale, nature and significance of current and possible future environmental issues.
3. Access and Licensing
Nearly all the data that we collect and create is done so in accordance with our public task. The principal exception is where we use spare capacity of our laboratories to analyse samples for third parties on a commercial basis.
All information held as part of the Environment Agency’s public task is available for re-use under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005, subject to third party rights or other confidentialities.
In licensing our data, we are committed to the principles of the Information Fair Trader Scheme, in relation to which we are fully accredited.
Details of our information that we have already published for re-use can be found on our Information for Re-use Register.
This statement is regularly reviewed. If you have any queries on this public task statement you can contact us. If you have a complaint about the Environment Agency under the Re-use Regulations, you can submit it using our general complaints handling process (or direct to our Licensing Manager).