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An environmental audit looks at pollution at a site and the risk it poses. It assesses the condition of a site, or whether a site poses any risks for its proposed use.

Risks can include harm from:

  • waste
  • noise pollution
  • air pollution
  • contamination of land or water.

Planning authorities, government agencies and industry use environmental audits. Sometimes people in the community may use environmental audits too when building or renovating. This helps them understand the condition of a site and its suitability for use. In some cases, there is a planning tool in place, called an environmental audit overlay. This means that an environmental audit must be done if the use of the site is going to be changed to a more sensitive use, such as residential housing or a childcare centre.

EPA maintains a searchable database. You can use it to search for a property and find out if it has had an environmental audit.  

EPA is reforming the environmental audit system to improve the management of contaminated environments.


More information about environmental auditing

Reviewed 12 November 2019