If you have a proposal for a short-term research or demonstration project with limited potential environmental impact, it may be most appropriate to apply for a research, development and demonstration (RD&D) approval instead of a works approval. 

Large projects that pose the same level of risk of environmental impact as established commercial scale industrial processes will have to undergo the usual works approval.

A pathway decision form will be required by EPA to determine this pathway.

Benefits of RD&D approvals

  • Industry benefits from a simple procedure for RD&D approvals.
  • Approvals granted (or refused) within 30 days.
  • Less cost to industry.
  • Lower application fee.
  • Provides for legal certainty with the issuing of an RD&D approval.
  • Encourages development of technologies.
  • Addresses environmental issues.
  • Directly contributes to improved environment protection and industrial development.

How to apply for a RD&D approval

If you are the occupier of scheduled premises, or would become scheduled with the installation of your proposed project, you may apply for RD&D approval, provided the works are for genuine research, development or demonstration. Small scale research at recognised research institutions would not normally make the premises scheduled. Such situations should be discussed with EPA.

Prior to completing an application form, the RD&D pathway must first be confirmed by EPA. Complete the Approvals proposal pathway form (Word, 508KB)and submit to EPA via approvals.applications@epa.vic.gov.au

The research, development and demonstration (RD&D) approvals application form (F1011) must be fully completed and signed by an authorised officer of the company once this pathway is confirmed.

Research, development and demonstration (RD&D) approval (publication 1369) has more information about the application process.

Attach to the application form your supporting information, specifically addressing the following key points.


State the purpose of the proposed project.

Scale and dimension

The scale and dimension of the project will generally be small in relation to existing operations and not a large development, particularly on a greenfield site. State the approximate volumes of product and waste to be handled and the approximate size of the project.


The duration of RD&D projects would normally be in the order of a few months rather than years. State the duration of your project.

Potential environmental impact

To enable EPA to ascertain the environmental effects, please state what the anticipated emissions will be and where they will be going (air, land, water or noise). Also detail any offsite waste disposal.


Provide details of your proposed environmental monitoring program for the project.

Contingency plans

Provide details of your contingency plans for routine operations and also for coping with any emergency situation to protect the environment.


A fee of 60 fee units must accompany your application. See Fees and penalties for the current value of fee and penalty units.

Acceptance or rejection of applications

Applications that do not include the above requirements cannot be considered by the Authority.


If you require any of the details in your application to the Authority to be confidential, you should clearly indicate your requirements in the submission.

How to submit applications

You will need to submit:

Email the whole package of information to approvals.applications@epa.vic.gov.au 

Granting approval

The Authority will issue, or refuse to issue, an approval within 30 days of receiving an application containing the required information as listed above. The approval may contain specific conditions that must be adhered to by the applicant.

Other approvals

You should note that section 19G(1) of the Environment Protection Act 1970 provides for a maximum court penalty of up to 2400 penalty units for contravention of conditions contained in RD&D Approvals, plus an additional 1200 penalty units for each day an offence continues.

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Reviewed 24 September 2020