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

Under the Environment Protection Act 2017  (the Act), EPA will delegate functions and powers to local governments. Councils will have the power to appoint employees as authorised officers.  

Authorised officers will have a wider range of powers to support council to:  

  • regulate onsite wastewater management systems (OWMS) of less than 5000 litres   
  • regulate noise from residential construction sites. 

These delegated powers are in addition to the direct powers councils have under the Act and Regulations. 

The delegation will take place in two stages: 

  1. EPA’s Governing Board will delegate to local governments. 
  2. Councils will appoint employees as authorised officers. 

The delegation has two important limitations: 

  1. Councils can only appoint an employee or class of employee, as an authorised officer.  
  2. While council authorised officers can investigate and issue certain notices, they can’t take further enforcement action such as court proceedings. The power to take proceedings sits with EPA. This limitation doesn’t apply to offences under the Act or Regulations where councils have direct powers.   

Support for councils

EPA will work with councils to help them understand and meet these new responsibilities. For example, we’re developing toolkits explaining the laws and powers relevant to councils. The toolkits will help council officers to build their regulatory capabilities.  

Reviewed 11 September 2020