The Environment Protection Act 2017 has a range of tools to make sure people comply with the law.
A sanction is a punishment or consequence if you don’t comply with the law. EPA can use different types of sanctions. These include:
To find out more, see EPA’s Sanction powers policy (publication 1814), which sets out the range of sanctions under the Act.
See also our Compliance and enforcement policy (publication 1798), which sets out EPA’s compliance and enforcement approach.
EPA can issue a warning where we have evidence of non-compliance for some lower risk activities. Warnings can help you to learn how to comply and improve the way you do things.
Infringement notices are a financial penalty for breaches of law. An infringement notice is like a fine. It means that you must pay an amount of money for breaking the law. These cover a limited number of offences under the Environment Protection Act 2017 and Regulations.
An enforceable undertaking is an alternative to prosecution or a civil penalty proceeding. Under an enforceable undertaking, an alleged offender voluntarily enters into a binding agreement with EPA. They agree to undertake actions to deal with the non-compliance and any impacts.
EPA will start criminal prosecutions for serious breaches of the law. This could mean Supreme Court action.
Civil proceedings in the Magistrates’ or Supreme Court are an alternative to criminal proceedings.
A court makes a court order as part of a criminal prosecution or civil proceeding. Court orders reflect the expectations of the community when it comes to environment protection.
Court orders apply to the person who broke the law and can take several forms. They include requirements to pay financial penalties, publish an apology, or restore the environment.
External reviews of our compliance and enforcement
The role of EPA’s authorised officers
Reviewed 24 June 2021