The general environmental duty (GED) is an important part of the Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 (the Act). It applies to all Victorians.

The GED:

  • requires anyone conducting an activity that poses risks to human health and the environment to understand and minimise those risks
  • gives EPA a more effective tool to deal with poor industry practices and drive investment in preventative measures.

For businesses

The new laws take an approach modelled on occupational health and safety (OHS) laws, with which many businesses may already be familiar.

This new approach will give businesses with high environmental performance standards greater confidence they’re doing the right thing. The Act empowers EPA to bring those who are using poor practices up to standard.

The new laws can be adapted to suit various activities. These range from low-risk operations through to complex and high-risk industrial processes.

Complying with environment protection law begins with understanding your level of risk.

For the community

The Victorian community also has a duty to prevent harm. Litter and pollution can cause damage to our environment, and cause harm to human health and wildlife.

Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter. Eighty-six per cent of litter reports to EPA relate to tossing cigarette butts from vehicles – a serious bushfire risk.

Report litter from vehicles and help EPA fight harm from pollution and waste.

For community, complying with the law may be as simple as managing waste appropriately. EPA can help you learn more about your responsibilities.

Read more about protecting the environment and human health

A better environment for all Victorians

What the new Act means for Victorian businesses

What the new Act means for the Victorian community

Reviewed 28 October 2019