Compliance and enforcement

EPA authorised officer powers

The Environment Protection Act 1970 (EP Act) provides EPA with its powers. Some of these powers are delegated by EPA to staff in specific roles.

Authorised officers

The EP Act allows EPA to appoint staff to the role of authorised officer. The appointed officers can then exercise powers given to them by the EP Act.

The primary role of EPA’s authorised officers is to ensure that businesses, government and individuals comply with the EP Act. They do this by:

  • inspecting businesses and premises; providing guidance and advice about how to comply; and enforcing the law – requiring risks and impacts to be remedied and, where necessary, applying sanctions or punishment to deter non-compliance.

The EPA authorised officers brochure provides the community and EPA duty holders, such as EPA licensed and non-licensed businesses, with an easy-to-understand summary of the role and powers of authorised officers.

EPA also has authorised officers working in specialised areas such as motor vehicles, ballast water and litter, who only exercise powers specific to their roles.

For more information see the EPA authorisations: roles and powers policy.


EPA informants are authorised officers who lead and conduct major investigations undertaken by EPA. As part of this role, informants:

  • are appointed to undertake legal proceedings in a court of law, on behalf of EPA, for offences against all legislation administered by EPA
  • are delegated the power to issue a notice of contravention to formally advise the recipient that they are contravening a legal requirement and apply a daily penalty. A notice of contravention will be issued where there is a major ongoing contravention and further enforcement action is planned; and prepare briefs of evidence.

Senior staff

Managers and team leaders in the areas of licensing, works approvals, waste management, notifiable chemicals and planning referrals, are delegated to decide on applications for approvals and to respond to planning referrals.

Where a remedial notice requires the recipient to undertake works at a cost above a certain level, the power to approve this remedial notice is delegated to managers and team leaders in EPA’s Environmental Regulation directorate.

Page last updated on 1 Mar 2016