Standards, compliance and planning

Works approvals – when does my business need one?


Works approvals are required for industrial and waste management activities that have the potential for significant environmental impact. The approval permits the construction of a plant, the installation of equipment or modification of processes.

A works approval may also be required when the occupier of scheduled premises seeks to increase or alter the emissions or type of wastes that their premises handle. Refer to our works approvals page for information on how to apply for a works approval and EPA’s assessment process.

In some cases, EPA exempts duty holders from the requirement to obtain a works approval. See our works approvals exemptions page for grounds for an exemption and how to apply.

If the proposed works are for the purposes of a research project rather than a full commercial operation, it may be more appropriate for the occupier to apply for a research, development and demonstration approval instead of a works approval. This should be discussed with EPA to avoid compliance and enforcement action.

Prior to applying for any of the above approvals, EPA requests that an Approvals proposal pathway form (Word 508KB) is completed. This allows EPA and industry to quickly determine what approval pathway is correct for the project.

For guidance on demonstrating best practice in works approval applications download the Guideline – Demonstrating best practice (publication 1517).

Page last updated on 10 Jul 2017