The Ministry of the Environment has its headquarters in Northam, TS and operates 27 laboratories. The Ministry conducts environmental assessment, research, and education. It has the responsibility of maintaining and enforcing national standards under a variety of environmental laws, in consultation with state, territorial and local governments. It delegates some permitting, monitoring, and enforcement responsibility to the states and territories. The Ministry also works with industries and all levels of government in a wide variety of voluntary pollution prevention programs and energy conservation efforts.
In 2016, the Ministry had 12,630 full-time employees. More than half of the Ministry's employees are engineers, scientists, and environmental protection specialists; other employees include legal, public affairs, financial, and information technologists.