On Thursday, December 31, 2020, the six members of Environmental Quality Protection Board (EQPB or Board) met in an Executive Session for final discussion and the unanimous passage of the EQPB SSOP or Selected Operation Policies and Procedures.  The SOPP are policies and procedures designed to “provide greater clarity and efficiency to conduct its business”.  Successful implementation of these SOPP will result in clearly defined relationship between the Board and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and support staff.   

 The Board updated their SOPP, which were last updated in 2014, as part of its ongoing effort to improve efficiency in order to meet EQPB’s mandate as set forth by the Environmental Quality Protection Act or EQPA found in 24 PNCA.  The policies further clarify the functions and delegations of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer as well as the staff of EQPB and business operations of EQPB according to its Organization Chart. For the Board members, the most important part of the SOPP is the section on “Conduct & Expectations of Board Members”.  This section sets forth the key code of conduct for the Board to exercise in their conduct of business.  

The updated SOPP will ensure smooth and efficient operation of work in the present time as well as during times when new members are appointed to the Board.  There is one vacant seat in the Board of which the Board has made multiple request to the Office of President for a re-appointment of the seventh member.  The law requires the Board to have seven members.  Additionally, the SOPP in place will enable the CEO and the EQPB Legal Counsel to help guide the Board as they conduct their day to day business in safeguarding Palau’s rich natural environment while ensuring sustainable economic and social development for the people of Palau.

The overarching goal for EQPB in the next five years is to ensure Organizational Excellence.  Aside from updating the SOPP, Board members and staff also participated in a strategic planning exercise on December 16, 2020 to set the goals and course that EQPB will take in the next five years.  The priority is to streamline operations to ensure effective and efficient performance and delivery of services to meet the needs of the people.  Moving forward, EQPB division managers are tasked to develop and/or strengthen existing SOP to ensure clarity and efficiency for all six divisions including:  Administration & Support; Education & Outreach; Environmental Permitting; Water Quality and Laboratory; Monitoring & Compliance; and Air Quality.  This level of clarity will result in a more effective and efficient EQPB.

In an effort to deliver the best services to the people of Palau, EQPB Board, CEO, and staff continue to update regulations based on modernized science and technology, SOPs, and build capacity through trainings, and conduct community outreach programs in order to ensure Organizational Excellence.  This includes the regular updates and training of the nine regulations that EQPB is authorized to promulgate and enforce.  For more information on regulations, permits, and activities we can do to protect our environment, call EQPB at 488-1639/3600.  You can also visit https://www.palaugov.pw/eqpb for more information on the nine (9) regulations that EQPB is authorized to promulgate and implement.

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