Learn how local government partners with EPA to prevent harm to human health and the environment.
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 recent webinar for local government outlining important changes to environment protection laws and how EPA is supporting you to be ready to regulate. Questions and answers from the webinar have also been published on this page.
EPA regulates council activities that may have environmental or human health impacts, including:
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.
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.
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. EPA and MAV signed the MOU on 22 June 2021. The term of the MoU is 36 months until 21 June 2024.
This MoU outlines our approach to working with local councils. MAV represents Victoria’s 79 local councils. The MoU 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:
The reason we have an MoU is to:
The key focus areas in the MoU are:
The MoU does not:
Over the life of the MoU, EPA and MAV will consult with councils about the key focus areas. Together, we’ll develop them further and set out new schedules to the MoU. We encourage councils to work with MAV to address their interests through the MoU.
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.
Reviewed 21 July 2021