Under the Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 (the Act), you must notify EPA of a pollution incident.

Reporting a pollution incident

If you’re the person responsible for a business or an activity at a business, you must alert EPA as soon as possible after you have become aware of an incident. This also applies to the community and individuals who may have caused a pollution incident. These notifications are mandatory. They enable us to respond quickly to protect human health and the environment.


Owen is camping with his family. He drives his vehicle near a creek and a fallen branch punctures the undercarriage of the vehicle. His full tank of petrol starts to flow into the creek. Owen plugs the puncture immediately and reports the pollution to EPA.

Jim owns a cleaning company and orders chemicals in large drums. One day a drum of chemicals falls, cracking on the concrete and spilling into a creek. Jim acts to safely stop the spill and immediately reports the pollution to EPA.

Respond to harm

The person responsible for causing the pollution must clean it up. They must also restore the affected area to the state it was before the pollution incident, as far as reasonably practicable . Taking action to respond to harm is a legal requirement under the Act.

Support from EPA

EPA can give guidance on different subjects about leaks and spills and pollution to air, water and land. 

Read more about reducing harm from pollution and waste

Managing contaminated environments

Managing waste

Environment reference standards

Your duty to reasonably prevent harm

Reviewed 28 October 2019