Compliance and enforcement

Licences


EPA issues licences to sites that pose an environmental risk due to the nature of their activities. These sites are required by law to obtain permission for those activities and must operate within the limits of their licence and comply with licence conditions. EPA licences allow businesses to discharge wastes into the environment under strict conditions and to manage prescribed industrial wastes.

In 2012–13 EPA commenced a program to inspect every licensed site by the end of 2014–15. During these inspections, EPA authorised officers checked compliance against each sites’ licence and gathered specific data to support the development of EPA’s Licensed Operator Risk Assessment (LORA) model. The LORA model emphasises a licence holder’s ability to identify and control site risks. It uses multiple sets of data, including those gathered on site during a licence inspection, to calculate a unique risk score for each site. This risk score indicates the risk of harm to the environment and the risk of non-compliance and will allow EPA to set the frequency of inspections that is proportionate to the risks posed at each site.

What is EPA focusing on?

In 2014–15 EPA’s Authorised Officers will visit the licensed sites that have not been inspected in the last two years to assess performance against licence requirements and gather data to support the LORA model. They may also revisit sites to get updated or additional data. Officers will also focus on management practices and validating licence holders’ annual performance statement (APS) submissions. These inspections may be unannounced.

EPA Authorised Officers will address minor risks and non-compliances by asking the operator to remedy it in their presence, or if the risk is more significant they will issue a remedial notice. EPA will also enforce against sites that do not have suitable controls or have failed to remedy any outstanding compliance issue that has been identified in the APS.

What can you do?

  • Ensure that your site’s operations are compliant with all licence conditions.
  • Ensure that you have a monitoring program in place that allows you and EPA to assess compliance against all your licence conditions.
  • Identify risks posed from site operations and put suitable controls in place to manage them.
  • Ensure you have reports and other supporting evidence on site to show compliance with your licence conditions.
  • Prior to an EPA inspection conduct your own site check using EPA’s Licence management guidelines.

Guidelines

Page last updated on 13 Nov 2017