4 September 2018
Private Bag 63002
Wellington 6140, New Zealand
Level 10, Grant Thornton House
215 Lambton Quay
Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Via: [FYI request #8463 email]
+64 4 916 2426
Official Information Act Request
I refer to your request for information received by the Environmental Protection Authority
(EPA) on 9 August 2018, for the following information:
“Please provide me with a table of the last 5 years of Hazardous Substance
reassessments initiated by the Chief Executive. As I am comparing the performance of
the past CE with the incumbent, please also indicate when the current Chief Executive
Your request has been treated as a request for information under the Official Information
Act 1982 (OIA).
Reassessments are important because hazardous substance approvals do not have an
expiry date. If new scientific evidence comes to light, an issue arises, or we find that a
hazardous substance is being widely used for a different purpose to that initially intended,
the EPA may decide to reassess the approval. Sometimes a third party will ask the EPA
to decide if grounds exist to reassess a hazardous substance.
The EPA can also be proactive in seeking information to assist in identifying whether or
not there are concerns about the use of hazardous substances in New Zealand through
calls for information, such as was recently released for three neonicotinoid pesticides.
The current Chief Executive of the EPA, Dr Allan Freeth, took on the role in September
2015. Since this appointment, the EPA has:
invested to expand its reassessment work;
developed a hazardous substances reassessments priority list; and
completed three reassessments, which covered 30 hazardous substances
The EPA has invested to expand its reassessment work, and is in the process of setting up a
specialist team to provide for systematic reviews of hazardous substances previously approved. To
ensure we do the best for consumers and industry sectors generally, we have developed a priority
list that sees the EPA putting its efforts into reassessing approvals of hazardous substances which,
through a robust and internationally peer-reviewed system of evaluation, are in most need of
reconsideration. This material is nearing completion and will be publicly released in the near future.
As per your request, below is a table displaying the Hazardous Substances Reassessments
initiated by the Chief Executive over the past five years.
as of 9 August 2018
OPCs (5 different
In regard to reassessments being undertaken in 2018, the EPA is currently working on an
application for the reassessment of paraquat.
A reassessment of one active ingredient can cover multiple approvals for hazardous substances.
For example, the reassessment of the active ingredient chlorothanolil in 2017 covered five
approvals for hazardous substances, as all five of these hazardous substances contained
A reassessment can be a full or a modified reassessment. A full reassessment reviews any aspect
of the approval, such as hazard classifications and controls, and it has the power to revoke the
approval. A modified reassessment looks at a particular aspect of an approval, for example a
specific hazard classification or control placed on the active ingredient. Modified reassessments do
not revoke approvals, they update aspects of approvals.