Compliance and enforcement

Our regulatory approach


The Environment Protection Authority monitors and regulates the environmental impacts of businesses and industry under the powers granted by the Environment Protection Act 1970 (EP Act), so that all Victorians can enjoy a safe and healthy environment. We aim to be an effective and influential environmental regulator that exercises its powers fairly and transparently.

  • We will be risk-based in what we do to focus our effort and resources where they are needed the most. We will do this by establishing risk-based decision models to prioritise our work.
  • Our decisions will be based on scientific and intelligence-based evidence that includes environmental quality data, compliance history data and reports from government departments, co-regulators, businesses and members of the public.
  • We will set ourselves targets for priority activity areas and report on how we are performing against them to remain accountable as a regulator.

Compliance – following the law, obtaining the right approvals or permissions, and conducting activities in accordance with requirements – is the responsibility of all businesses, organisations, governments and individuals. Everyone has obligations under the law. All parties have a social duty of care to the environment to reduce their environmental impact and ensure that future generations experience a clean and improved environment. All duty holders are accountable to the regulator and the public to prevent and minimise environmental harm.

EPA undertakes a range of activities on behalf of the Victorian community to achieve compliance with the EP Act. EPA’s regulatory approach takes the form of several linked elements as represented in EPA’s operating model (Figure 1). We monitor compliance levels, encourage higher performers, educate business about their legal obligations, set standards for a productive and liveable Victoria and support compliance by providing timely and relevant advice and by making our expectations clear.

EPA's operating model

Figure 1: EPA’s operating model

Where we find non-compliance, or likely non-compliance, EPA will seek to remedy or prevent the harm using advice, directions or remedial notices. Where appropriate, EPA will enforce the law using sanctions such as official warnings, penalty infringement notices and prosecutions.

To find out more about how EPA regulates and enforces the law and what factors it will take into account when imposing a sanction, see our Compliance and Enforcement Policy (publication 1388).

If you are aware that your facility is not compliant, contact EPA immediately on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC). When considering our response to non-compliances, we take site-specific circumstances (including self-reporting) into consideration in accordance with the Compliance and Enforcement Policy.

Page last updated on 2 Aug 2017