Standards, compliance and planning

Works approval exemptions


The Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2017 provide for exemptions to EPA’s works approval and/or licensing requirements in certain circumstances. EPA can grant general exemptions from the requirement to obtain a works approval for some activities that are eligible for an exemption under the Regulations.

EPA also grants works approval exemptions under the Environment Protection Act (EP Act). To be eligible for an exemption, applicants must satisfy the grounds for an exemption under the Act.

Neither applicants for general exemptions nor for exemptions under the EP Act have to be EPA licence holders.

General exemption under the Scheduled Premises Regulations

Please refer to the Regulations, complete the Approvals proposal pathway form (Word 508KB) or contact EPA to determine whether a general exemption under the Regulations applies to your proposal. General exemptions do not require a formal EPA exemption letter.

Regulation 11(d) provides that a works approval or licence is not required ‘with respect to discharges or deposits to land or water from ... an effluent reuse scheme or activity which meets discharge, deposit and operating specifications acceptable to [EPA]’. Similarly, Regulation 12(c) states that a works approval or licence is not required for ‘a biosolids reuse scheme or activity which meets deposit and operating specifications acceptable to [EPA]’.

In these cases, proponents seeking an exemption must submit an environment improvement plan (EIP) or a health and environment management plan (HEMP), in line with EPA’s guidance on biosolids and water reuse. EPA only grants an exemption under Regulations 11(d) or 12(c) if these plans meet the requirements of EPA’s guidance.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) must endorse the HEMP before EPA can approve it. DHHS endorsement involves its approval of a recycled water quality management plan (RWQMP), which then forms a part of the HEMP.

Exemption under the Environment Protection Act

EPA grants works approval exemptions under the Environment Protection Act. To be eligible for an exemption, applicants must satisfy the grounds for an exemption under the Act. Please refer to the table below for a summary of the grounds.

You can find recent exemptions under the Act on the EPA Interaction Portal. These are marked as ‘WA Exemption’ in the ‘Attachment links’ column of the search results.

Search for a works approval or an exemption under the Environment Protection Act




If you are applying for an exemption under the Act you must complete the Approvals proposal pathway form (Word 508KB). Please note that the answers you give must sometimes be supported with documentation attached. The Approvals proposal pathway guidelines outline the information required by EPA to determine an exemption.

EPA will advise applicants of a decision within four weeks of receipt of the proposal form, provided that the information submitted is complete. If your proposal is not eligible for an exemption, you might need to complete a works approval application.

Exemptions from approvals under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (Section 19A)

The grounds for an exemption in the Environment Protection Act are summarised below.

Requirement for a works approval
(Section 19A Scheduled Premises of the Environment Protection Act)
Grounds for works approval exemption
(Section 19A Scheduled Premises of the Environment Protection Act)
The occupier of a scheduled premises must not do any act or thing, including the commencement of any construction, installation or modification of plant, equipment or process or any subsequent step in relation thereto, which is likely to cause … Exemption available if EPA is satisfied that
… an increase or alteration in the waste discharged  or emitted from, deposited to, or produced at, the premises
19A(1)(a)
… the exemption will not adversely affect
(a) the quality of any segment of the environment
(b) the interests of any person other than the applicant
19A(4)
… an increase or alteration in the waste which is, or substances which are a danger or potential danger to the quality of the environment or any segment of the environment which are, reprocessed, treated, stored, contained, disposed of or handled, at the premises
19A(1)(b)

… a change in any method or equipment used at the premises for the reprocessing, treatment, storage, containment, disposal or handling of waste, or of substances which are a danger or potential danger to the quality of the environment or any segment of the environment
19A(1)(c)
… the exemption will not result in the reprocessing, treatment, storage, containment, disposal or handling of
(a) prescribed industrial waste
(b) substances which are a danger or a potential danger to the quality of the environment, which by reason of volume, location, constituency or manner is or are likely to cause an environmental hazard or affect adversely the interests of any person other than the applicant
19A(5)
… a significant increase in the emission of noise
19A(1)(d)
… the exemption will not adversely affect
(a) the quality of any segment of the environment
(b) the interests of any person other than the applicant
19A(6)
… a state of potential danger to the quality of the environment or any segment of the environment
19A(1)(e)
No express exemption provisions in the EP Act.
All of the above works must only be done in accordance with a works approval, licence or notice ... unless in the course of and for the purpose of general maintenance.
 
The occupier of scheduled premises must not Exemption available if EPA is satisfied that …
… construct, relocate or reduce the height of any chimney through which waste is, or may be, discharged or emitted to the atmosphere or carry any subsequent step in relation thereto
19A(2)

… the exemption will not result in a discharge or emission to the atmosphere of waste which by reason of volume, intensity, location, constituency or manner affects adversely –
(a) the quality of any segment of the environment; or
(b) the interest of any person other than the applicant.
19A(6)(b)

… make those premises a scheduled premises except in accordance with WA, RD&D or notice
19A(3)
No express exemption provisions in the EP Act.

Page last updated on 3 Jul 2017