Legislation

Water-related policies


State Environment Protection Policy (Waters)

Victoria’s water environments are diverse and valuable. The primary regulatory mechanism for protecting these waters from pollution is the Environment Protection Act 1970 (the Act). The Act defines high level objectives for the protection of the environment and identifies the roles and powers of EPA in respect to environment protection.

State environment protection policies (SEPPs) are subordinate instruments to the Act and are an important component of the regulatory framework in Victoria. SEPPs outline the uses and values of the environment that the community want to protect (these are called beneficial uses) and define the quality of the environment required to protect these. SEPPs also identify the rules for decision makers and obligations on industry in order to protect our water environments.

The State Environment Protection Policy (Waters), also referred to as SEPP (Waters), provides a framework for the protection and management of water quality in Victoria, covering surface waters, estuarine and marine waters and groundwaters across the State.

SEPP (Waters) commenced on 19 October 2018. It replaces the State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria), its regional Schedules, and the State Environment Protection Policy (Groundwaters of Victoria) and was made following an extensive review and consultation process.

Page last updated on 18 Jan 2019