Subordinate legislation is the group of tools that support the amended Environment Protection Act 2017 (the Act). These tools include Environment Protection Regulations to support the Act and the Environment Reference Standard (ERS).

EPA and DELWP worked together to develop the Regulations and ERS in consultation with community, government and industry stakeholders.

The Environment Protection Act 2017, Regulations and ERS represent the most significant reform to Victoria’s environment protection framework in two generations.

Legislation applies from 1 July 2021

The subordinate legislation – the Regulations and ERS – have come into effect with the commencement of the amended Environment Protection Act 2017 on 1 July 2021.

You are now required to comply with the environment protection laws.

While EPA will take a practical approach to enforcement and support voluntary compliance, we will use our powers under the new legislation to protect the health of Victoria’s environment and community from the impacts of pollution and waste. You can find out how we plan to do this in our Statement of Regulatory Intent (publication 1965).

Environment Protection Regulations and supporting materials

The regulations support the environmental protection legislation by providing clarity and further detail for duty holders on how to fulfil their obligations. The following documents have been published:

Five EPA publications that are incorporated in the Regulations and support their operation:

Environment Reference Standard (ERS)

The ERS sets out the uses of the environment that Victorians value, and the indicators and objectives needed to support them. It provides a foundation for environmental monitoring and reporting. The ERS contains values, indicators and objectives for ambient air, water, ambient sound and land environments.

Revocation of two notifiable chemical orders

Until 30 June 2021, there were four notifiable chemical orders (NCOs) in effect.

On 1 July 2021 the NCO (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) and the NCO (Organotin Antifouling Paint) became Environmentally Hazardous Substances Orders under the legislative framework.

The Governor in Council has revoked the NCO (Chlorine Compounds) and the NCO (Arsenic and Arsenic Compounds), the legislative framework will adequately manage the risks that these NCOs addressed. This includes regulation 102 of the Environment Protection Regulations 2021, which sets requirements for the use of the chemical substances in the NCO (Chlorine Compounds).

Legislative instruments

EPA has developed a range of legislative instruments to support the functioning of the Environment Protection framework.

The Response to public comment report

To help understand how consultation shaped the Regulations and ERS, the Government released a report on the results of consultation in December 2020.

Read next

Summary of Regulations

Changing to the Act

Reviewed 11 August 2022