How EPA is supporting Victorians during coronavirus

EPA will continue to prioritise delivery of our compliance and enforcement, and pollution response activities. Our focus is to prevent harm from pollution and waste. 

The health and wellbeing of our employees remains crucial. We’re also focussed on reducing the impact of disruptions to our regulatory activities. 

We have: 

  • a continuity plan  
  • put in place our pandemic plan 
  • processes that allow us to continue to deliver our regulatory work. 

We’re in constant communication with our staff, regulatory partners and government. We’re closely monitoring the situation and will continue to focus our effort where it’s most needed. 

What EPA expects from duty holders during coronavirus

We recognise the challenge coronavirus presents. We recommend all duty holders create and adopt a business continuity plan. It’s essential to decide what should happen in the short to medium term and consider longer-term impacts. Always follow state and federal governments’ advice, and any specific health advice for your sector.

As a duty holder, you remain responsible for environmental impacts from your activities. Keep this in mind when you’re making business continuity plans.

You must: 

  • maintain your equipment and manage stockpiles in line with your licence conditions to make sure that pollution doesn't occur
  • meet your duty when you dispose of solid and liquid waste to licensed facilities. 

Duty holders in the waste industry should communicate with clients and EPA if they predict service disruptions.

If you conduct your activities under an EPA licence or other approval, you must continue to comply with your existing conditions.

We can grant emergency approvals for discharge or storage of waste in certain circumstances. We can do this under section 30A of the Environment Protection Act 1970. If you believe your business will need this, contact us as early as possible. We’ll assess applications on a case-by-case basis.

Extension for licence holders to submit annual performance statement

Each financial year EPA licence holders must submit their annual performance statement (APS) between 1 July and 30 September for the previous financial year. We’ll grant a two-month extension for licence holders to submit their APS. Submissions open on 1 July 2020. Licence holders must submit their APS by 30 November 2020.

If you have an EPA remedial notice

If a duty holder (licenced or unlicenced) has a remedial notice with compliance dates approaching and they are unable to meet the compliance dates set out in the notice due to Stage 4 restrictions or impacts of coronavirus, they should apply to EPA for an extension of time by filling out the amendment request at least 7 days prior to the compliance due date and submit to EPA for consideration. Duty Holders must specify how restrictions have impacted their ability to comply and suggest a new date to achieve compliance with each requirement.

Information on how to apply for an amendment.

Read more coronavirus updates from EPA

Coronavirus update from EPA’s CEO (15 March)

New Act delayed to support Victorians to focus on dealing with coronavirus

Coronavirus: EPA’s role in regulating noise

Waste and recycling during coronavirus

How to stay up to date on coronavirus

It’s important to follow advice from: 

Follow EPA on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Follow coronavirus updates at www.emergency.vic.gov.au 

Reviewed 11 August 2020