Compliance and enforcement
Information and guidance is developed in line with legislative requirements. Some guidance is general in nature and others more descriptive.
Local government councils also have officers that are authorised under the EP Act. Some matters are devolved to local government to administer in the first instance.
General information and guidance on how the department investigates potential non compliances of the EP Act and the Statutory tools ( notices) can be found below.
- Compliance and Enforcement – ESR/2016/2514
- Environmental Protection Orders – ESR/2016/2520
- Chain of Responsibility Environmental Protection Order Guideline
The Issuing chain of responsibility environmental protection orders under Chapter 7, Part 5, Division 2 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 Guideline (last updated April 2023) provides information about how the department decides:
- whether a person has a relevant connection with a company
- whether to issue an Environmental Protection Order (EPO) to related persons of a company
- which of the related persons of a company to issue an EPO to.
The department must have regard to the guideline when deciding to issue an EPO to a related person.
Transitional environmental programs
New updates to the Environmental Protection Act 1994 in April 2023 have made changes to Transitional Environmental Programs (TEPs). These changes are intended to ensure greater clarity in regard to the precise environmental authority conditions, or aspects of these conditions, that continue to apply despite the transitional environmental program.
Changes include “submission of draft TEP” to “application for the issue of a TEP” and an amendment to be undertaken in an approved form. Applications must now be submitted via the approved form and be accompanied with the base fee upon application.
In some circumstances you may still be required to submit a 'draft' TEP under the former legislative framework. This may occur if you have been issued a statutory notice prior to 5 April 2023 (when the changes to the EP Act came into effect) and the department decides to require a TEP as a result of that particular compliance action. In these cir cumstances the department will provide you with the correct documents to submit a draft TEP.
- Approved form for transitional environmental program – ESR/2016/2220 (last updated April 2023)
This approved form is to be used when applying for the issue of a TEP. Please use the Transitional Environmental Program Guideline below to assist in filling out this application.
- Approved form Amendment of a transitional environmental program – ESR/2023/6400 (new form June 2023)
This approved form is to be used when applying for the amendment of a TEP. Please use the Transitional Environmental Program Guideline below to assist in filling out this application.
- Transitional Environmental Program Guideline – ESR/2016/2277 (last updated May 2023)
This guideline is to be used to inform the applicant during the process of application of an issue of a TEP, or the amendment of an existing TEP.
- Notice – public notice requirements for transitional environmental programs (TEPs) – ESR/2016/2251 (last updated April 2023)
This form is to be used when public notification is required as part of your application for an issue of a TEP that extends over a 3-year period, or where a person applies for an amendment of a TEP which extends the period over which the TEP is to be carried out to longer than 5 years.
- Approved form program notice (TEPs) – ESR/2016/2219
This form is to be used when notifying about a relevant event for a transitional environmental program (TEP) that has caused or threatened environmental harm.
- Approved form annual return for TEP – ESR/2016/2961
This form is to be used yearly by the holder of the TEP to provide to the department.
The requirements in relation to public notice are detailed in sections 335 and 344 respectively of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.
The public notice must be given in the approved form.
Environmental evaluations and investigations
Recipient of a notice to conduct or commission an environmental investigation
The Environmental Investigations information sheet (ESR/2023/6388) (new document April 2023) provides guidance to recipients of a notice to Conduct or Commission an environmental evaluation on the next steps.
If you are the recipient of a notice to conduct or commission an environmental investigation, in accordance with section 326E of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 you are required to provide a declaration when submitting your environmental report to the department.
Suitably Qualified Person
Declarations are required in certain circumstances when submitting reports and plans to the department in response to a statutory tool. If you are a suitably qualified person, engaged by a recipient of a statutory notice or order, to complete any of the following under chapter 7, part 8 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.
For further detailed information go to Information for suitably qualified persons.
Declarations are required in certain circumstances when submitting reports and plans to the department in response to a statutory tool.
If you are an auditor engaged by a recipient of a statutory notice or order to certify a contaminated land investigation document, such as a site investigation report.
For detailed information go to Auditors.
Investigations and enforcement is undertaken in accordance with the Enforcement Guidelines. Officers of the department that undertaken inspections and investigations are authorised under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) and other Acts that the department administers.
The department has set clear expectations about acceptable standards of environmental performance and takes prompt, strong enforcement action against those operators who choose not to comply with their obligations to demonstrate the consequences for poor performance.
The Enforcement guidelines, powers of authorised officers and overt/covert policy govern how the department makes decisions about appropriate enforcement action.
For more information on these enforcement documents please visit the Compliance and enforcement page.
- Enforcement Action and Multiple EA Holders – ESR/2016/3451 (last updated May 2023)
- Enforceable Undertaking Guideline – ESR/2016/2272 (current May 2023)
- Enforceable Undertaking Application Form – ESR/2016/2133 (current May 2023)