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EPA aims to prevent the harmful effects of pollution and waste on the environment and human health. To do this, we regulate Victoria's environment under these laws:

  • Environment Protection Act 1970 (and those parts of the Environment Protection Act 2017 that have commenced)
  • Pollution of Waters by Oils and Noxious Substances Act 1986 .

Our compliance and enforcement policy was published after external reviews in 2010–11. The policy describes how we ensure compliance, and how we will use our enforcement powers. It also:

  • details many of our enforcement powers
  • explains how our action differs depending on the level of non-compliance
  • describes how and when we use certain powers. 

EPA can choose to seek an enforceable undertaking instead of prosecution. This means alleged offenders can agree to complete tasks to address harm caused to the environment and/or community.

EPA’s authorised officers (AOs) and senior staff all have roles in compliance and enforcement.

AOs can:

  • inspect businesses and premises
  • provide guidance and advice about compliance
  • enforce the law.

Our informants are AOs who conduct major investigations and work on legal cases.

EPA’s senior staff work on licensing, works approvals and permits, and planning referrals.

Read next

EPA's compliance and enforcement role

External reviews of our compliance and enforcement

EPA’s compliance and enforcement policy

Enforceable undertakings

The role of EPA’s authorised officers

More information about compliance and enforcement

Reviewed 13 November 2019