Remedial notices are written directions EPA may give to a person requiring them to take action for a range of purposes, such as:
- to comply with the Environment Protection Act 2017 (the Act) or a permission issued under the Act
- to take steps to reduce a risk of harm to human health or the environment
- to take action in relation to pollution and waste, including industrial waste and pollution incidents
- to investigate and take action in relation to contaminated land.
Remedial Powers Policy (publication 1813) has information on EPA’s remedial powers, the purpose of each type of remedial tool and a summary of the available review rights (see page 14).
EPA can review some types of remedial notices
You can apply to have EPA review some types of remedial notices. If you’ve received a remedial notice issued by an EPA Authorised Officer (AO) or a council authorised officer (CAO), you may be entitled to have that notice reviewed by EPA.
Types of remedial notices EPA may review
You can ask for an EPA internal review for these types of remedial notices:
- improvement notice (section 271)
- Prohibition notice (section 272)
- Notice to investigate (section 273)
- Environmental action notice (section 274)
Types of remedial notices EPA doesn’t review
Other remedial actions and notice types issued by EPA may be eligible for review by the Supreme Court. Waste abatement notices and site management orders are reviewable at VCAT directly.
How to apply for a remedial notice review
The recipient named in the remedial notice can make an application for internal review to EPA’s Internal Review Unit. Alternatively, a person authorised to apply on their behalf may make an application. Use this form to submit the application online. If you can’t complete your application online, contact us on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).
When you submit your application for review, you’ll need to provide:
- an explanation for why you are seeking internal review
- information to support your explanation.
This will help us review your application and understand your concerns.
You will also be given a chance to ask that EPA ‘pauses’ the compliance requirements in the notice until after the review is completed. This is called a ‘stay’ of the notice.
EPA must receive applications for internal review within 10 business days of the date of service of the remedial notice. The date of service is the date you received the notice. This date may be different from the date of issue on page one of the notice.
- If you received an email, the date of service isn’t the day you opened the email, it’s the day your email server received the email.
- If you received the remedial notice by post, the date of service will be the day it would ordinarily be delivered to you by post.
EPA’s internal review process
First, we’ll check your application to make sure it’s eligible for review. We’ll let you know in writing when we have received your application and if we consider it to be a valid application.
An internal review officer (IRO), who wasn’t the person who issued the original notice, will review the application. They will consider if the decision to issue the remedial notice was the correct and preferrable decision for your circumstances. This review must consider the merits of the decision to issue a particular notice – not simply whether the AO or CAO followed the correct process.
They must compete this review within 10 business days from when you made your application for review.
Remedial Notice Review Policy (publication 1926) has information on how we assess applications.
Possible outcomes of the internal review process
EPA considers the outcome of the review process to be a new decision and is made in the name of the EPA. The possible outcomes of the review are that the decision is:
- affirmed – this means the IRO’s decision is the same as the AO or CAO’s decision
- varied - this means the IRO’s decision is similar to the AO or CAO’s decision, but where one or more changes to the notice are made, or
- set aside and substituted with a new decision- this means the IRO’s decision is different to the AO or CAO’s decision and the issued notice is revoked and may or may not be replaced with a different notice the IRO considers appropriate.
EPA must advise you of the outcome of your review application in writing. If you have applied for internal review of a remedial notice and you do not hear from EPA with 10 business days of making that application, then it means the AO or CAO’s decision is automatically affirmed and the original notice remains in force.
External review rights
Once EPA has completed its internal review or where the decision is affirmed automatically, you have a right to seek an external review of the decision.
You can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for an external review.
External reviews of improvement notices, prohibition notices, notices to investigate, or environmental action notices
You may only apply for external review with VCAT after completing the internal review process through EPA. To be eligible, you must apply to VCAT within 15 business days of the day on which EPA made a decision on your internal review application.
External reviews of waste abatement notices and site management orders
You may apply directly to VCAT. To be eligible, you must apply to VCAT within 15 business days from when you first became aware of the notice or order.
How to apply for an external review
VCAT’s website has information on how to apply for external VCAT review or contact VCAT on 1300 01 8228.
Alternatively, you may also seek judicial review on administrative law grounds of the IRO’s decision, or of any decision by EPA to issue a remedial tool or notice in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
For The Supreme Court’s website at has information on how to apply for judicial review by the Supreme Court of Victoria.
Amendments to a notice or direction
If EPA has issued you with a notice or a direction and would like us to consider an amendment, contact the authorised officer who issued you with the notice. You can apply for an extension of time to comply with one or more requirements of a notice.
For council-issued remedial notices, please contact the officer who issued the remedial notice directly.
Application to vary or revoke site management order
Complaints about authorised officer conduct
If you have concerns about the conduct of an EPA AO (including when issuing a remedial notice), you can contact EPA to discuss.
The remedial notice internal review process does not directly consider AO conduct as part of the review. Sometimes an AO’s conduct may be relevant, for example when considering the reliability of the information used to issue a remedial notice, however not in all circumstances.
While conducting an internal review the IRO may refer matters raised about AO conduct to the relevant part of EPA, or we may advise you to consider completing a complaint application.
For any matter involving council AOs, please contact the relevant council directly.
Get help with a remedial notice review application
For help with an application for an internal review of a remedial notice, contact us on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).
Reviewed 3 August 2021