The NEA Inspectorate is established under the provisions of NEMA Part IX - Inspection,Analysis and Records (Sections 41 to 47). Inspectors are responsible for ensuring that the provisions of NEMA and its associated Regulations and Standards are complied with. They have wide-ranging powers to inspect, investigate and prevent pollution (see Section 4.1 (v) below), and act as the field representatives of NEA in respect of all the environmental quality issues referred to in Sections 2 (iii) to (vii). The NEA Inspectors are also designated Inspectors under the provisions of Part VII of the Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides Control and Management Act, 1994. (The powers of Inspectors defined under the two Acts are very similar).
Inspectors are appointed by notification in the Gazette, which device also enables NEA to appoint temporary inspectors, or part-time “designated” inspectors to supplement the full-time staff of the Inspectorate, particularly for remote parts of the country.
The NEA Inspectorate has very important responsibilities with respect to the enforcement of environmental legislation. The Inspectorate is responsible for administration of the Environmental Discharges (Permitting) Regulations 1999, the hazardous chemicals regulations 1999, the EIA regulations 1999, and the Ozone Depleting Substances Regulations of 1999. Under both Part IX of NEMA and Part VII of the Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides Act, NEA Inspectors are given the responsibility for collecting samples of substances in preparation for their official analysis. This includes the critical procedures for dividing samples, keeping records, arranging analyses, etc. Finally, the inspectors are responsible for taking various other actions on behalf of NEA, on the instructions of the Executive Director.