Information on this page is not current law. It details new laws that commence on 1 July 2021 under the Environment Protection Act 2017.

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. 

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.

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 18 June 2021