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The Directorates

Development Planning Directorate

This Directorate is responsible for the promotion and control of proper land development, both public and private, in accordance with approved policies and plans. It seeks to achieve sustainable development throughout the Maltese Islands through the preparation and implementation of development plans and policies. This directorate is segmented into two divisions namely: the Forward Planning Division and the Development Services Division.

Through the Plan Making and Policy Development Unit, the Forward Planning Division formulates and proposes guidelines and development briefs that in turn become planning policies. This Unit is also responsible for processing planning control applications and giving policy guidance on local plans or other MEPA approved or emergent policies. The Transport Planning Unit, within this division is responsible for offering technical advice on issues related to transport such as the management and assessment of traffic impact statements and parking provisions associated with development applications.

The Heritage Planning Unit, which is another compliment of Forward Planning administers the scheduling process of designated cultural, archaeological and natural sites, remains, areas or other property and manages the National Protective Inventory. The Minerals Unit is responsible for the processing of development permit applications for new quarries and extensions to existing mineral operations and the monitoring of quarry sites and related operations (including vibrations, noise etc.).

The Development Control Unit within the Development Services Division is the engine house where the processing of development permit applications is carried out, from the pre-submission meetings to the preparation of planning application reports. This unit is also responsible for processing Development Notification clearances and with taking decisions on certain applications under delegated powers. A Major projects team handles the processing of larger scale developments and national projects.

The division has an enforcement arm through the Enforcement Unit, this unit is divided into two sections. The Enforcement section is responsible for inspecting, monitoring and tackling development cases that are breaching development planning permit conditions. The Unit is responsible also for enforcing the Construction Site Management regulations and the Vacant Sites Initiative. Supplementary to this unit is the Direct Action section that commissions the demolition of illegal development.

The Gozo office is equipped and responsible for processing development permit applications on the Island and handles enforcement cases both with respect to planning and environment protection. Planning applications that are considered as Major Projects and direct action operations in Gozo are handled by the respective units in Malta.

Environment Protection Directorate 

Environmental Permitting and Industry Unit (UNIT A), is responsible for the
environmental permitting and compliance auditing of industrial installations including those involved in waste management. The unit manages the areas of integrated permitting and compliance, volatile organic compounds, industry and urban waste water, and coordinates EPD input on the control of major-accident hazards (Seveso). The Unit contributes to the development of EU and national legislation in these fields. It and also provides guidance to industry on Best Available Techniques, Emissions limits and the development of better regulation initiatives. The Unit also coordinates the implementation of the Water Framework Directive from a coastal and inland surface water perspective, and water monitoring for these waters under the Nitrates Directive.

- Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control
 Tel: 22907230

European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR)
Tel: 22907230

-Environmental Compliance
Tel: 22902019

- Environmental Permitting of hotels and other facilities with marine discharges
Tel: 22907231

- Environmental Permitting of pharmaceutical facilities
Tel: 22907230

- Environmental Permitting of waste management facilities
Tel: 22907317

Tel: 22907229 / 22907323

- GBR Registrations
Tel: 22907229 / 22907234

- Hull Cleaning
Tel: 22907323 / 22907231

- Environmental Permitting of Quarries
Tel: 22907316

- Ozone Depleting substances (ODS)
Tel: 22907229

- Urban Waste Water Treatment
Tel: 22907231

- VOC Solvents
Tel: 22907234

Waste Brokers
Tel: 22907228

- Waste Carriers
Tel: 22907226

- Environmental Permitting of Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment
Tel: 22907317

The Environmental Assessment Unit (Unit B) coordinates the Environment Protection Directorate's assessment of development projects and the EPD's role on related matters. In particular, the unit manages: the technical assessment of environmentally-relevant proposals at screening and post-validation stages as well as the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Habitats Directive Assessment (Appropriate Assessment) processes. Among other related functions, the unit is also the EPD's primary liaison with the Planning Directorate.  The Unit also coordinates MEPA's function as a statutory consultee in the Strategic Environmental Assessment process, advising plan proponents and the SEA authorities on environmental issues at the screening and scoping stages of the process, and coordinating comments on environmental reports and draft plans or programmes.  The Environmental Assessment Unit also represents environmental interests in planning-related fora and in the formulation of environmentally-relevant legislation, policy and operating procedures. The unit is also responsible for environmental permitting in relation to works that affect trees and rubble walls.

Tel: 22907150

- EPD Consultations  & Appropriate Assessment
Tel: 22907150

- Environmental permitting (trees & rubble walls)
Tel: 22907150

The Ecosystems Management Unit (Unit C), coordinates activities, policy and strategies related to MEPA's response in the areas of ecosystems management, nature protection, GMOs and biosafety. This includes, amongst others, issues related to the EC Habitats Directive and the Natura 2000 Network of Protected Areas, the EC Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), terrestrial and marine protected areas, habitat and species protection and management, nature permitting applications and processes and the implementation and follow-up of EU-funded projects related to biodiversity and nature protection.

- Manager Ecosystems Management
Tel: 22907102

- Nature Protection General Enquiries & Requests for Information  
Tel: 22907117

- Site Designation & Management
Tel: 22907106

- Marine Strategy
Tel: 22907335

- Marine Species
Tel: 22907103

- Terrestrial Species
Tel: 22907105

- Biodiversity Reporting
Tel: 22907113

- GMOs and Biosafety
Tel: 22907113

- Nature Permitting
Tel: 22907113

- Carnet de Chasse
Tel: 22907320

- Invasive Species
Tel: 22907102

- Biodiversity Strategy
Tel: 22907105

The Waste, Air, Radiation and Noise Unit (UNIT D)
, coordinates MEPA input in the following policy areas: waste management, air quality, radiation and noise. The work of Unit D also includes the administration of transfrontier shipment of waste, and the management of the air quality monitoring network.

- Team D1 Waste Management (WEEE)
Tel: 229072011

- Team D2 Air, Noise and Radiation (General)
Tel: 22907211

- Team D3 Transfrontier Shipment (TFS), Consignment Permits/Notes & Shipments of Green List Waste
Tel: 22907211

The Monitoring & Compliance Unit (MCU) of the Environment Protection Directorate seeks to ensure compliance with biodiversity-related legislation. This Unit is also in charge of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), processing the related permits and certificates, as well as being responsible for compliance matters and the issuance of clearances pertaining to the said Convention and related EU Regulations. Strandings of cetaceans, turtles and cases affecting protected species are also coordinated by this Unit.

Tel: 22907303

- Strandings (Cetacean and Turtle strandings)
Tel: 22907318
- Emergency cases related to Biodiversity after office hours
Tel: 99210404  

Corporate Services Directorate

The Corporate Services Directorate is responsible to ensure that the entire organization is serviced and provides a sound infrastructure for the directorates to carry out their responsibilities and functions. This directorate also manages the commercial services of the Authority.

With a staff complement of over 420 employees, segregated into two principle streams, professional staff and technical/clerical staff, the Human Resources Unit ensure that the organization is equipped with the appropriate and competent level of human resources. The Office ensures that the two separate collective agreements are respected and liaises with the two recognized unions, the UHM which represents technical/clerical staff and the in-house UPAP union which represents the professional staff. The office is also responsible for conducting training and learning initiatives and matters related to health and safety.

The Information and Communication Technology Unit secures the organisation with all the infrastructure development, application systems, support and maintenance to cater for the continual gathering/sharing of data and information for internal and external users.

The Information Resources Unit (IRU) serves as the focal point for research-based activities and the full data cycle. It is responsible for information management functions inclusive of the data function, the GI thematic function and an integrated research function. IRU also hosts the Library function and caters for DIGITAL publication development. On an international scale, IRU is involved in a number of EU and international projects as well as the EEA-EU dataflow management processes.
The Financial Control Unit is responsible for the budgeting, financial planning and cash management of the Authority.

The Authority offers commercial services through its Mapping and Land Surveying Units. The Mapping section is Malta’s National Mapping Agency and provides topographic data and mapping services to the organization and corporate clients. Complimentary to this is the Land Surveying section that is responsible for setting out alignments and levels of proposed roads.
The directorate is also responsible for the customer services rendered at the front desk including technical planning advice and information queries, the mailing room operations, library services and support services division.

Chairman’s Office

This Office provides the framework, leadership and direction within which the organization together with the MEPA Board, the Development Control Commissions and Advisory Committees operate.

Central to the function of this office is the DCC Secretariat which is the primary point of contact for MEPA’s customers at the last phase of the development planning process. Focused on providing an enhanced customer care service, the secretariat compiles agenda schedules for the boards, notifies applicants, architects and interested third parties of board hearings and manages the post decision process. Through the adoption of more vigilant and streamlined work practices, the secretariat has also become responsible for the processing, renewing and releasing of bank guarantees associated with numerous planning permits. Ministries, government departments and agencies as well as the general public make use of the secretariat for queries and information purposes.

Under the direction of the Chairman, the Communications Office seeks to promote and enhance the corporate image of the Authority and raise awareness about environmental and planning issues. The office also seeks to promote and sustain a service culture which meets the expectations of the Authority’s clients amongst others through the monitoring, dissemination and continual contact with its clients during the process of service. Responsible for the implementation of the Public participation pillar of the Aarhus Convention, it is the office’s role to carry out and facilitate public participation initiatives for policy making and formulation. The Communications Office is also responsible to facilitate the communications within the Authority.
The Complaints Office is responsible for dealing with complaints from the public and various other entities related to the services rendered by the Authority. This office is also responsible for co-ordinating the processing of EU funded projects and Capital projects that require MEPA permits. The Complaints office handles the issuing of compliance certificates.

The Legal Office assisted by a private law firm is responsible for all the litigation involving MEPA in the law courts and Planning Appeal Board. Besides tendering legal advice to the various units within MEPA, the legal office also assists in drafting and vetting of legislative instruments.