A remedial notice or a direction is issued to:  

  • bring a duty holder into compliance
  • outline the steps to deal with the harm, waste or contamination.  

EPA’s Compliance and enforcement policy (publication 1798) explains the role and use of remedial notices.

About remedial notices

Remedial notices are issued if it is found that on reasonable grounds a duty holder:  

  • isn’t complying with the Environment Protection Act 2017 (the Act).  
  • waste or contamination is present that requires treatment.  

Authorised officers issue remedial notices, including:  

  • Improvement notice – for not complying with the Act. Requires action to remedy the non-compliance  
  • Prohibition notice – for not complying with the Act. The person must stop the activity and remedy the issue
  • Notice to investigate – where an officer believes there is contamination, pollution or waste that requires further investigation  
  • Environmental action notice – where an officer believes there is contamination, pollution and unlawful waste. The notice may require clean-up measures such as taking waste to a facility that can accept it.
  • Non-disturbance notice – this secures a site or situation, usually relevant to an investigation.

To find out more, see EPA’s Remedial powers policy (publication 1813), which sets out the range of remedial notices under the Act.

A recipient of a remedial notice issued by an authorised officer may have the right to seek an independent review of that notice. EPA’s Remedial notices review policy (publication 1926) explains review rights under the Act, including external review rights, and describes EPA’s remedial notice review process.

Managing your remedial notice from 1 July 2021

On 1 July 2021, the Environment Protection Act 2017 (The Act) will come into force. The Act provides for transition of remedial notices issued under the Environment Protection Act 1970. These rededial noticed will remain legally valid for two years.

Duty holders with a remedial notice issued under the previous Act with a compliance date, or dates, that fall after July 1, 2021 must still comply with the requirements of the notice.

EPA will continue to assess compliance with all notice requirements. A failure to comply with these requirements may result in enforcement action in line with EPA’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy.

Contact EPA if you have any questions about your remedial notice.

About directions  

Authorised officers can give a direction when they believe an activity puts another person’s health or safety at risk.  

Directions are normally spoken to the person in control of the activity that poses the risk. Written confirmation follows the spoken direction.  

An authorised officer must reasonably believe there’s a risk when providing a direction.  

Failure to follow a direction without a lawful reason is a serious offence and may result in prosecution.  

About site management orders

A site management order is a new tool that allows EPA to establish long-term controls. This ensures safe management of sites that would otherwise pose an ongoing risk to human health and the environment.  

Site management orders are given to owners or occupiers of land that may be contaminated. Site management orders are for long-term land management or restoring it to its former condition.  

Site management orders can include:  

  • long-term maintenance of environmental controls, such as installing and maintaining infrastructure
  • monitoring site contamination  
  • ongoing reporting requirements.

Register of site management orders

How EPA follows up on directions, notices and orders

Duty holders who don’t fulfil their obligations by a set date can face prosecution.  

Civil remedies in court are also possible. They may require you to take an action. These actions help prevent, minimise or remedy non-compliance. 

Remedial notice review process

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

You can apply to have a site management order varied or revoked.

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.

Read more information or find out how to make a complaint.

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).

Application for an internal EPA review of a remedial notice

Use the link below to complete the form to apply for an internal EPA review of a remedial notice.

You can use this form to apply for an EPA internal review of the following notices:

  • improvement notice
  • prohibition notice
  • notice to investigate
  • environmental action notice

Before you apply, read the Remedial notices review policy (publication 1926). This publication explains remedial notice review rights under the Act, describes EPA’s review process and provides further information.

Begin remedial notices – internal review

Application for an extension of time to notice requirements

Use the link below to complete the form to apply for an extension of time to requirements for the following types of notice:
  • prohibition notice
  • improvement notice
  • notice to investigate
  • environmental action notice
  • information gathering notice
  • waste abatement notice
  • waste information gathering notice
EPA will consider applications for an extension of time if you can show that you’ve made all efforts to comply with the notice requirements and that:
  • factors beyond your control (such as weather events) mean you can’t comply within the dates and you need an extension of time to comply
  • changing one or more of the requirements will restore legal compliance, deliver greater levels of control and better long-term environmental results.

Note that your notice remains legally binding until we advise you of any change.

If you’ve been issued with an improvement notice, prohibition notice, notice to investigate or environmental action notice, you may also be eligible to seek an independent internal review. Refer to the Remedial notice review process for further information.

Timeframe

For applications relating to prohibition notices, apply at least three business days before the requirement due date.

For all other applications, apply at least 10 business days before the relevant requirement due date. If you apply outside of these timeframes, EPA may not consider your application.

Begin remedial notices – extension of time to comply

Apply to amend or review a remedial notice under the 1970 Act

Remedial notices issued under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (1970 Act) were given to businesses to prevent danger to human health, life or the environment. The notices were verbal or written, had to be followed immediately and could direct a person to:

  •  immediately stop an activity or works
  • address an incident
  • conduct a clean-up of their site
  • change an existing process or activity.

If you have a remedial notice that was issued under the 1970 Act, you can apply for an amendment to it until it’s revoked. You can apply to amend the following types of 1970 Act remedial notices:

  • pollution abatement notices (PANs)
  • minor works pollution abatement notices (MWPANs)
  • clean-up notices (CUNs).

Applying for an amendment doesn’t suspend or disable the requirements in the served notice.

How to apply for an amendment

You can apply for an extension of compliance dates, or an amendment or revocation of requirements.

Generally, we only make amendments to requirements if you can show that you’ve made all efforts to comply with the notice requirements and if either of the following is true:

  • factors beyond your control (such as weather events) mean you can’t comply within the dates and you need an extension of time to comply
  • changing one or more of the requirements will restore legal compliance, deliver greater levels of control and better long-term environmental results.

You also need to provide enough information to justify your case for an amendment.

To apply for an amendment, download the application form, fill it out, and return the completed form to the manager of the EPA office listed on the notice within the required time. EPA office contact details are listed on our Contact us page.

Application to amend a remedial notice (Word; 509KB)

EPA must receive the application for an amendment at least:

  • three working days before the relevant compliance date(s) for a minor works pollution abatement notice (MWPAN)
  • ten working days before the relevant compliance date(s) for a pollution abatement notice (PAN) or clean up notice (CUN).

We will not amend MWPAN requirements with immediate or extremely urgent deadlines.

EPA will review the application and respond within five working days of receiving it.

Read our Remedial notices policy (publication 1418) for more information.

Review of a remedial notice

Notice recipients can no longer apply for a review of a pollution abatement notice (PAN) or clean up notice (CUN) unless EPA decides to exercise its discretion to accept a late application for review under the 1970 Act.

The criteria for a review are set out in the Remedial Notice Review Policy (publication 1926).

To find out how to submit a late application for a review of a PAN or CUN call us on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).