Local government (councils) play an important role under the Environment Protection Act 2017 (the Act). They're our partners, joint-regulators and duty holders in the environment protection framework.  

Councils regulate several key environmental and human health issues using their powers under the Act. They also act as land managers and provide key services to the community, such as waste collection and landfill management.

View a webinar for local government outlining the environment protection laws and how EPA is supporting you to  regulate.Questions and answers from the webinar have also been published on this page

Duty holders

EPA regulates council activities that may have environmental or human health impacts, including:  

  • landfills 
  • waste facilities such as transfer stations 
  • land management including local roads and public spaces 
  • construction.  

The local government sector guide (publication 1821) is for councils in their role of duty holder. It can help identify which activities could cause harm from pollution and waste. The guide also includes information about managing risks (including examples), legal obligations and common hazards in councils.

Joint regulators

Councils play an essential role in protecting the environment and human health. They do this by helping to regulate: 

Find out how functions and powers are delegated to councils.

Memorandum of understanding between EPA and the Municipal Association of Victoria

EPA has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) on behalf of local government. An MoU is a type of arrangement.

This MoU outlines our approach to working with local councils. MAV represents Victoria’s 79 local councils. The MoU acknowledges the important working relationship between EPA and local councils. It reflects EPA’s commitment to support our partnerships with local councils as joint regulators.

EPA and MAV commit to meet objectives in the MoU. These are based on agreed principles about the roles and responsibilities of EPA and local government as joint regulators. The areas where we share responsibility are:

  • litter
  • illegal dumping
  • noise
  • on-site wastewater management systems with a capacity of up to 5000 litres on any day.

The Officers for the Protection of the Local Environment program

Officers for the Protection of the Local Environment (OPLE) are EPA authorised officers, based in councils. They help council officers with compliance and enforcement action for minor local pollution incidents. 

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Reviewed 12 September 2022