What to include in a statutory planning referral

EPA’s role in statutory planning processes is to support responsible authorities in their decision-making. Responsible authorities can refer any application to EPA if there’s a risk to the environment or human health from the effects of pollution and waste. 

When referring to EPA, you should provide us with a complete copy of the planning permit application. The referral must include all information required by the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and Planning and Environment Regulations 2015. 

To assist EPA in our assessment of a proposal the referral should also include any relevant history of the site and surrounding area, including enforcement actions undertaken by Council or other authorities. 

Where the responsible authority seeks EPA advice by providing notice of an application, it helps to specify the concerns for which advice is being sought.

What to include in a planning permit application

As an applicant, if you are applying for a planning permit it may be referred to EPA. For us to complete a full assessment, your application should show that you:

  • understand how your proposed use or development may affect environment and human health
  • understand and have assessed risks of harm to the environment and human health
  • have identified measures to be implemented which prevent or lessen these risks.

For proposals with a high risk of impact you may require an amenity impact assessment or other supporting documents such as an environmental management plan prepared by an environmental consultant. 

If the proposal is for an industrial use, your application documents should include:

  • the purpose of the use and the types of processes to be used
  • the type and amount of goods to be stored, processed, or provided
  • whether a development licence, operating licence, permit or registration is required from EPA.
  • The Planning and Environment Act 1987 allows EPA to request further information to allow an assessment of the application. If we need more information, we'll request that within 21 days. 

How to submit a referral to EPA

Responsible authorities can email referrals to statutoryplan@epa.vic.gov.au.

EPA will respond to the referral within the required statutory timeframe. If we need more time, we will contact council as early as possible.

Read next

Statutory planning

Land use planning

Specific land uses

Check if you need a permission

Reviewed 20 February 2023