COVID-19 information for environmental authority holders

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) acknowledges that the ongoing pandemic is having an impact on our community and industry. The Queensland Government is continuing to respond to the pandemic by implementing a range of initiatives and the Chief Health Officer’s (CHO) public health directions (health directions). Keep up to date with government initiatives and CHO directions at

If you hold an environmental authority or other approval issued by the department and are concerned about your ability to meet your obligations, please communicate with us early so that we can discuss ways to manage any risks to the environment.

Please also engage with us early if you are looking to submit an application for an approval or an amendment so that we can action it as efficiently as possible.

The best method to communicate with us is through your local departmental contact or through our general inquiries at:

  1. Telephone: 1300 130 372
  2. Email:

What the department is doing

We are continuing to meet our responsibilities as Queensland’s environmental regulator. This includes the implementation of our own continuity plans to maintain service delivery if required. We are also utilising flexible working arrangements to protect our staff, whilst still delivering our risk-based compliance program, responding to pollution events and servicing applications for new approvals or amendments.

We are committed to working closely with industry bodies to minimise the environmental risks and impacts being experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What we ask you to do

If you hold an environmental authority or other approval administered by the department, please ensure that you have reviewed, updated and, if necessary, implemented your business continuity plans to account for reduced supply and also reduced workforce availability.

We also expect you to take all reasonable and practicable measures to comply with your environmental obligations and prevent unlawful environmental harm.

If you believe that your measures will not meet your environmental obligations, please communicate with us early so that we can discuss ways to manage any risks to the environment.

What you can expect from us

We will continue to service applications for new or amended environmental approvals as efficiently as possible and within statutory timelines.

We will continue to deliver a risk-based proactive and reactive compliance program as well as respond to pollution incidents. This will be done in a manner that maximises the safety or our staff and the people they interact with. We will conform with all reasonable safety and protective measures that operators have in place to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spread, whilst still meeting our regulatory obligations.

Enforcement decisions, such as prosecutions, infringements and statutory notices will continue to be based on our Enforcement Guidelines (PDF, 360.6KB) . However, like with other disasters or significant events, the impact of COVID-19 will be taken into account where an operator has taken reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or minimise the harm.