Standards, compliance and planning


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EPA’s role in the planning system

EPA’s role in planning is to advise planning and responsible authorities under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 about the environmental risks associated with planning policies and decisions. This includes advice at the policy development, structure planning, planning scheme amendment and planning permit application stages.

For planning permit applications, the Planning and Environment Act and planning schemes set out when:

  • applications must be referred to EPA under section 55 of that Act
  • notice of applications must be given to EPA under section 52 of that Act.

EPA works with responsible authorities and applicants to minimise environmental harms. To discuss a proposal please contact one of our planning assessment officers on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).

Planning guidelines

EPA has prepared guidelines for planning and responsible authorities under the Planning and Environment Act:

EPA also provides guidance more generally on legislation administered by EPA (including state environment protection policies) and guidance for businesses on a range of environmental issues.

Where a development is proposed on potentially contaminated land, the ministerial direction and planning practice note (PDF 73KB; Word 123KB; Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) should be referred to.

Buffers and residential encroachment

EPA has a priority project focused on residential encroachment on industry due for completion in mid-2016. EPA is often involved in responding to impacts on residents from industrial facilities that have, at least in part, been caused or exacerbated by land-use conflicts. 

The focus of the project is residential encroachment on industrial sites that are licensed by EPA, leading to odour, dust and noise impacts. EPA is enhancing its guidance to planners on this issue and exploring opportunities to enhance the management of encroachment through the planning system. 

Assessing planning proposals near landfills

Landfills are an important part of Victoria’s waste management infrastructure. However, they can also have impacts on the surrounding environment and community, even long after they have ceased operating.

EPA has released a guideline on Assessing planning proposals within the buffer of a landfill (publication 1642). This guideline provides advice on assessing planning permit applications and planning scheme amendments that would lead to development within the buffer of an operating or closed landfill. The guideline advises the responsible authority on the level of assessment required to inform its decision. It then recommends a staged, risk-based approach consistent with the Landfill BPEM.

Other relevant EPA information on landfills can be found on our Landfills page.

Odour environmental risk assessment for Victorian broiler farms – guideline

The guideline (publication 1643) outlines existing requirements within the Victorian Code for Broiler Farms 2009 (the code) and the State Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality Management) (SEPP (AQM)) to ensure new and expanded broiler farms have minimal odour impacts on nearby residents and communities.

The requirement to submit an odour environmental risk assessment (odour ERA) comes from the code. It involves modelling and analysing odour predictions for a proposed broiler farm to assess the risk of odour impacts beyond the farm boundary.

The guideline provides advice to odour modellers on conducting an odour ERA in accordance with SEPP (AQM) and presenting the results in a clear and consistent way. It also provides advice to responsible authorities on interpreting odour ERAs and deciding whether they indicate an acceptable level of odour risk.

Page last updated on 17 Oct 2017