I. NATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS INTO POLICY DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES
B. Existing regulatory systems
The Act allows the government to control the discharge or deposition of any material into the environment. The Act defines an "environmental contaminant" as any substance that may cause an alteration of the environment. The relevant sections of the Act are the right to discharge, emit or deposit environmental contaminants into the environment with prescribed licence conditions. In that respect, there is an overlap with the Water Resources Act, and for mining projects the latter is used with regard to water pollution aspects.
The Act also covers hazardous environmental contaminants. It contains powers that require potential contaminants to be registered and for their import and distribution to be controlled. Noise and dust pollution are also controlled by ECA, but may be incorporated within an environmental plan under EPA. The administration of ECA is vested in the Minister for the Environment and Conservation. ECA is an Act related to the prevention, abatement and control of environmental contamination and the provision of protection of the environment in accordance with the fourth national goal under the Directive Principles. ECA binds the State as far as resource development is concerned. Part 4 of the Act deals with pollution offences, including littering and the breaking of glass, while Part 7 deals with noise pollution.