EPA is going through our biggest change since we began in 1971.

In 2016, the Victorian Government released the findings from its public inquiry into EPA. We’re using our plan Our environment, Our health (publication 1661) to work with Victorians to deliver that vision.

New environmental laws come into effect from 1 July 2021. They give EPA more powers and tools to prevent risks to the environment and human health. They also allow us to issue stronger sanctions to hold polluters to account.

The general environmental duty (GED) is central to the new laws. It requires all Victorians to manage risks to human health and the environment that their activities create. Everyone must take steps to prevent or minimise those risks. For businesses, this may be things like correctly managing waste or storing chemicals safely. For individuals, this may be things like making sure rubbish from your renovations goes to the correct place or keeping household chemicals out of stormwater drains.

EPA can enforce the law to make sure people comply.

We’ve created guidance to help businesses and individuals comply with the GED. We’re also using our website, face-to-face meetings, workshops and surveys to keep people informed about the new laws.

EPA is developing subordinate legislation with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, this will support the new laws when they come into effect.

Read next 

Independent inquiry into the EPA

Victorian Government response to the independent inquiry into the EPA (PDF)

Find out more about how we're changing

Reviewed 17 March 2021