The Role of the IChEMS Advisory Committee
The Advisory Committee on the Environmental Management of Industrial Chemicals (IChEMS Advisory Committee) is established under the Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management (Register) Act 2021 (ICEMR Act).
The IChEMS Advisory Committee provides expert advice to the Environment Minister on the making, variation, or revocation of regulatory scheduling decisions for industrial chemicals, as well as on the Register, and the decision-making principles under the ICEMR Act.
The IChEMS Advisory Committee may consider a broad range of factors, such as whether there is an essential use of the chemical in Australia, viable alternatives, and the social or economic impacts of restricting or prohibiting the use of the chemical in Australia.
IChEMS Advisory Committee members
The IChEMS Advisory Committee is made up of a Chair and three to eight members. Members are appointed by the Environment Minister. The appointments for the first term of the committee commenced on 20 April 2022.
Dr Brian Richards (Chair), former Executive Director, Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme
Dr Richards is a former senior public servant with extensive experience in chemicals assessment and regulation.
Dr Richards was Executive Director of the Australian Industrial Chemical Introduction Scheme (AICIS) and its predecessor the National Industrial Chemical Introduction Scheme (NICNAS) from 2012 – 2020. He has held roles on more than 30 technical advisory bodies, including the OECD Chemicals Committee, the Health Policy Advisory Committee on Technology, and Chair of the Radiation Oncology Reform Implementation Committee.
Professor Derek Muir, Senior Research Scientist, Environment and Climate Change, Government of Canada
Professor Muir is a senior research scientist (Emeritus) and environmental chemist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Professor Muir holds adjunct positions in Canada at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, and in the Dept of Chemistry at University of Toronto. Professor Muir has served on several Canadian and international advisory committees. He was awarded the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Founder’s Award in 2000 for work on persistent organic pollutants. He is a SETAC Fellow and a Fellow of Canada’s national academy, the Royal Society of Canada, and of the Chemical Institute of Canada.
Dr Jenny Stauber, Chief Research Scientist, CSIRO Land and Water
Dr Stauber is a Chief Research Scientist at the Centre for Environmental Contaminants Research CSIRO Land and Water in Sydney.
Dr Stauber has over 40 years of experience with CSIRO, formerly as Deputy Chief and Acting Chief of Land and Water. She is a member of Australia’s Independent Expert Scientific Committee (IESC) on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development reporting to the Environment Minister. Dr Stauber has chaired and served as an expert ecotoxicologist on many World Health Organisation chemical review boards, together with the NSW EPA Board and a large number of other expert advisory panels. She is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. She was a recipient of an Australian Museum Eureka Prize in 2006.
Professor Kerrie Wilson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability Strategy), Queensland University of Technology
Professor Kerrie Wilson is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability Strategy and Research Integrity) at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Kerrie joined QUT in January 2019 and was the Executive Director of the Institute for Future Environments. Before joining QUT Kerrie was the Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions and an ARC Future Fellow at The University of Queensland. She is also an Affiliated Professor in Conservation Science at The University of Copenhagen, a member of the Australian Heritage Council and member of the Reef 2050 Plan Independent Expert Panel. Kerrie has previously held leadership positions with NGOs, including Director of Conservation for The Nature Conservancy Australia.
Kerrie has two decades of experience leading and conducting research into the science, strategy and policy of conservation. She is particularly interested in applied resource allocation problems, such as how to invest limited resources to protect or restore biodiversity and what socio-political and institutional factors influence investment success in conservation.
Kerrie’s research has been published in high impact journals such as Nature and Science and involves collaborations with government agencies and NGOs at local, national and global levels. Kerrie has received numerous national awards, including the Prime Minister's Prize for Life Scientist of the Year, the Australian Academy of Science Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science, two ARC Research Fellowships and an Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher.
Kerrie holds a Bachelor in Environmental Science (First Class Honours, awarded in 1999) from UQ and a PhD from The University of Melbourne (2004), undertaken in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre, based in Cambridge.
Professor Mark Taylor, Chief Environmental Scientist, Environment Protection Authority Victoria
Mark Patrick Taylor is Victoria’s Chief Environmental Scientist at EPA Victoria, previously being a Professor of Environmental Science and Human Health at Macquarie University, Sydney, specialising in environmental contamination and the risks it can pose.
His research expertise covers environmental contamination in aerosols, dusts, sediments, soil, water and potential risks to human health. His work has focused on mining and smelting emissions and depositions, as well as contamination in urban environments. His work is genuinely global with research, consulting and expert advice covering Australia, Africa, Asia, Chile, New Caledonia, Fiji, Indonesia, New Zealand, UK and the USA.
Professor Taylor’s work has a special focus on ‘human environments’ including analysis of blood lead levels in children, firefighter PFAS exposures, trace metals and microbes in bees, honey, wine, residential veggie patches, household dusts and drinking water. Topical research includes assessment of atmospheric trace metal emissions from wildfires, microplastics and human health risks and authentic and effective community engagement in environmental health science.
Professor Taylor is a top 2% of global scientist and a leading popular science writer with more than 3.6 million reads of his topical The Conversation articles.
Mark’s assessment of environmental contamination and the risks it can pose to the environment and human health has resulted in:
- Australia’s largest and longest blood lead level analysis of Australian children;
- The development of a national residential garden and household trace metal assessment program involving >7,000 homes;
- A world first randomised clinical treatment trial to remove PFAS from humans;
- Commissioned research for the Australian Building Codes Board that paved the way for the legislated reduction in the concentration of lead used in plumbing fittings from 4.5% to 0.25%.
Professor Sanghamitra Mahanty, ARC Future Fellow - Resources, Environment and Development Program, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University
Professor Sango Mahanty is a human geographer studying the politics of social and environmental transformations at the Australian National University Crawford School of Public Policy.
Professor Mahanty is an expert in social impact assessment, and teaches postgraduate courses examining the causes, implications and governance of environmental pollution and waste. Her field research over the last decade has been in mainland Southeast Asia, with extensive prior experience in Australia and the Asia-Pacific. In addition to her academic research and teaching, she has undertaken applied social research and provided policy advice for civil society and government. Professor Mahanty’s work has examined the drivers and social effects of water pollution, and the nexus between rural markets, environmental change and social inequality, and the impacts of major infrastructure projects.
Ms Tarah Hagen, Technical Discipline Manager – Toxicology and Risk Assessment, SLR Consulting Australia
Ms Hagen is a certified toxicologist with more than 14 years’ experience in conducting screening and detailed human health and ecological risk assessments for a variety of industries and government.
Ms Hagen’s work covers industrial emissions, contaminated land and water, consumer goods and food. She has written and co-written numerous major reports, which have been influential in shaping Australian health risk assessment methodology and policy decisions in relation to environmental issues. She has also been involved in several complex human health risk assessment for occupational and public exposure to per and poly fluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS). This work has included reviewing and interpreting toxicology information for consideration of appropriate toxicity reference values, delineating potential exposure pathways, as well as estimating and interpreting internal exposure metrics with respect to human health.
The Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management Standard (IChEMS) Advisory Committee convened for the second time on 29-30 September 2022.
This meeting focused on scheduling decisions for four chemicals listed in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, namely hexabromobiphenyl (HBB), hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD), pentachlorobenzene (PeCB) and polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCN).
Members discussed their advice on the proposed scheduling of these chemicals in response to requests for advice from the delegate for the Minister for the Environment. Members noted their statutory obligations, including in relation to conflicts of interest.
The Committee’s advice will be considered by the Minister for the Environment, or their delegate, to inform scheduling decisions for these chemicals.
The Committee agreed to reconvene in late 2022 or early 2023.
The Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management Standard (IChEMS) Advisory Committee convened for the first time on 3 June 2022.
This introductory meeting focused on the role and operation of the Committee.
Members discussed and agreed to meeting procedures and the publication of meeting outcomes. Members noted their statutory obligations, including in relation to conflicts of interest.
The Committee was provided with an opportunity to comment on draft Terms of Reference and the IChEMS Decision-Making Principles.
The Committee noted background information on the IChEMS framework and discussed its role in achieving the objectives of IChEMS.
The Committee agreed to reconvene in September 2022 to consider the first batch of draft scheduling decisions.