Released every year, our annual report lets you know where we’ve done well and where we can do more. 

Our highlights

Since being handed new legal powers and responsibilities, 2022-2023 has been a year of action for us. This has put us in a great position to meet our long-term strategic goals to best protect our environment and community. 

People are part of environmental regulation

  • Victorians submitted more than 27,000 pollution reports – double the number reported just 3 years ago. 
  • More than 2,000 Victorian households sent soil samples for scientific screening. 
  • We created 5 sector consultation groups to better understand industry risks and needs. 
  • We established 7 place-based community committees across each of our regions to share information about local issues and solutions to pollution and waste.
  • 88% of EPA staff are now trained to better engage with community and industry.

We’re more responsive

  • We now have 244 Authorised Officers, the most we’ve ever had. 
  • We’ve doubled the number of inspections in the past 2 years, to more than 5,400 inspections. 
  • We responded to every single priority waste incident within a day of notification, despite a 5% increase.
  • We attended 47 fires and other emergencies and provided expert advice and support through the October 2022 floods.

We’re holding polluters to account

  • We issued more than 1,200 notices directing businesses to take action to protect human health and the environment.  
  • We concluded 98 cases in the courts and were successful in more than 90% of cases concluded.
  • We laid the first charges for breaches of the General Environmental Duty – introduced in 2021.

We’re preventing harm before it happens

  • We’ve increased our inspections and audits by more than a third.
  • We conducted more than 500 targeted inspections in high-risk industries to help prevent harm. 
  • 97% of duty holders now understand their role in environmental protection (up 27%). 

How we’re tracking

Despite uncontrollable weather events like floods, we are in a great place to achieve almost all our 5-year strategic outcomes in just the first year of our new 5-year Strategic Plan 2022–27.

This first year has focused on investing in resources and building systems. With these in place we can ensure we reach our goals in the long term.

Download one year into our Strategic Plan infographic (PDF, 240 KB).

Latest annual report of operations 

Previous annual reports


Watch our 2023 in review [video]

Annual report 2022 23

Video transcript


Environment Protection Authority Victoria is the state's regulator for pollution and waste.

We're taking stock one year in to our five-year strategic plan.

[Lee Miezis, Chief Executive Officer]:

It's been a really big 22-23 for EPA.

Some firsts: first criminal, first civil charges for breaches of the GED.

We've tackled some really complicated issues whether it's clinical waste, our response to floods.

We've done a huge amount of that practical, on-the-ground work with community with our co-regulators and it's just a real privilege to work with the people that make up EPA and those people are so critical to our success as an organisation.


Our programme of preventative inspections meant businesses were aware of their obligations and could prevent harm to our environment before it happened.

[Rob Tedge, Preventative Project Lead]:

We focus on harm prevention because it is the most effective way to protect human health and the environment.

[Sophie Gosch, Project Officer]:

It's not just about putting officers out on the field to do inspections, but it's also about using the other arms of the business and the tools and the levers that we have at our disposal to change behaviour.

Because we are taking that preventative stance, we're going then to teach them about their obligations, raise awareness of the risks that they need to mitigate, and has actually allowed us to bring other stakeholders out on site with us.

For example, local council, traditional owners and even some 'friends of' groups as well.


When emergency events impacted Victorians, EPA's collaborative approach became more important than ever.

[Viranga Abeywickrema, Regional Manager, South Metropolitan Melbourne]:

A lot of team members within the organisation supported our flood response and recovery work, using our influence with our partner agencies in government to make sure that there was a really coordinated whole of government approach and providing support to the impacted communities.

[Dr Paul Leahy, Principal Scientist – Freshwater]:

We supported the Emergency Management system in Victoria to provide advice on the basis of science around the risks for things like clean-up, clean-up of waste, clean-up of major facilities like landfills.

[Viranga Abeywickrema, Regional Manager, South Metropolitan Melbourne]:

Getting to know communities better, the key concerns for community who are dealing with the floods, who'd been impacted by floods and responding in a really quick manner.

[Dr Paul Leahy, Principal Scientist – Freshwater]:

We established a monitoring program really quickly to help Victorians understand what the risks were from things like pathogens and chemicals in the environment.


Investing in our people is key to our success. A focus on culture and reducing red tape helped our people to flourish.

[Angeleena Pala, Manager, People Experience]:

It's actually amazing to see EPA staff looking out for EPA staff.

[Manveen Kaur, Project Officer Water, Water Sciences]:

The team here has been so amazing, teaching me all the things that I need and supporting me wherever I was needed.

[Angeleena Pala, Manager, People Experience]:

We have a new and improved centralised recruitment design. We've reduced the administration by 80% for people leaders, giving them more time to mentor and coach, ensuring EPA gets the best talent.


Our scientists led monitoring and testing programmes to help the community make decisions each day and grew the evidence base to better respond to issues.

[Professor Mark Patrick Taylor, Chief Environmental Scientist and Executive Director of Science]:

Well we have a range of really important programmes that assist the community in understanding the quality of the environment. We have GardenSafe, which assesses the quality of people's soil in their home yards. We have Beach Watch and Yarra Watch, which tells people what the water quality is and helps them make decisions about going swimming and we also have AirWatch which gives information to communities right across the state about the quality of the air.

[Dr Minna Saaristo, Principal Scientist - Land and Contaminants]:

EPA science is there to collect the data, analyse the data, help the duty holders solve the problem and then move on and move beyond the problem and find solutions and slowly we are improving Victoria's environment.

[Professor Mark Patrick Taylor, Chief Environmental Scientist and Executive Director of Science]:

In addition to that, we also have vehicles which allow us to respond to incidents when they come to our notice. We're out within an hour. We support the community. We provide information and evidence. We help curtail the pollution spills. We help provide information to support the regulatory operations part of the organisation who will then make decisions about dealing with the pollution event moving forward.


We engaged directly with Victorians throughout the year to ensure communities could contribute on issues that matter to them.

[Steve Lansdell, Regional Manager, West Metropolitan Melbourne]:

We've worked with the community in so many different ways this year. Lots of community drop-ins or pop ups and that might be at the local lake or river, at a farmer’s market or often going to community halls talking about those issues, telling them what we can do, what we are doing and and find out more from them.

[Jacquie Stepanoff, Director Policy and Regulation]:

For me the best outcome is creating a space to lift beyond the everyday and talk about long-term environmental problems and what we can do together to solve them.

[Steve Lansdell, Regional Manager, West Metropolitan Melbourne]:

We've got really smart people that love turning-up to work and just love meeting all the different people we get to work with, whether that's local residents, whether that's businesses that know about us or don't know about us.

Never a dull day.

Reviewed 23 July 2024