From 1 July 2021, the new environment protection laws will take effect. EPA will be ready to exercise its powers under the Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 (the Act) to protect the environment and human health. Some parts of the law will come into effect gradually, while others will be enforceable from day one.

If you have taken reasonable steps to understand and meet your obligations under the Act, we’ll support you. We’ll also support businesses with considerable changes to their compliance obligations.

If your legal obligations have not changed significantly, but you haven’t tried to understand or follow the new laws, we’ll act to make sure you meet your obligations.

EPA will take a practical approach to enforcement and will support voluntary compliance. How we do this is in our draft Regulatory Strategy 2020-2025 (publication 1800) (the Strategy). 

To help us make the Strategy work, we have created two key policies. These are EPA’s draft Permissions Scheme Policy (publication 1799) and the draft Compliance and Enforcement Policy (publication 1798).

The draft permissions Scheme Policy explains how EPA will give permission to conduct certain activities under our new laws. Our permission will be given via either a Registration, a Permit or a Licence.

The draft Compliance and Enforcement Policy explains how we will decide whether people have done what they need to do under the new laws to look after the environment and our health. If they have not, this policy covers what we can do to make sure they comply.

If you currently hold an EPA licence, you’ll continue to do so under the new Act. We’ll contact all licence holders as we transition to the new laws.

Learn more about our permissions framework.

Read more about this change for the better

A clearer penalty structure for offenders

New controls and permissions

Understanding your environmental obligations 

Better information sharing

Reviewed 17 December 2019