The Environment Protection Act 2017  (the Act) allows the Minister to issue an environmentally hazardous substances order (EHSO) if a substance is found to:  

  • be highly hazardous  
  • pose a serious risk of harm to human health or the environment.  

Substances that can be environmentally hazardous include:  

  • high hazard waste streams that need urgent controls  
  • products made with or from hazardous substances  
  • hazardous substances in storage.  

An EHSO can:  

  • force duty holders to prohibit, control or regulate hazardous substances  
  • prescribe a standard of conduct, as an alternative to setting minimum standards through Regulations.  

EHSOs can also ensure standards of management, record keeping or notifications about a product or substance of concern. This prevents or minimises future concerns around tracking and waste management.  

The Act provides for the saving of notifiable chemical orders (NCOs) from the Environment Protection Act 1970. These are an EHSO for the purposes of the Act. This applies to the NCOs for:  

  • polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) 
  • organotin antifouling paint.

Both become EHSOs under the Act.  

Refer to the following gazette notices:


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) 

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) are a Controlled Waste outside Victoria and a Reportable Priority Waste (RPW) inside Victoria.

A notification is to be completed by the occupier of a premises containing more than 10 kg of PCB in material or waste at or more than the threshold concentration and quantity of 50 mg/kg and 50 g.  

When PCB is transported within Victoria, including for eventual transport into or out of Victoria, you require consent to supply or sell from EPA Victoria. A consent to sell or supply PCB is not a permission under EPA’s regulatory framework but is an additional requirement of both the Environmentally Hazardous Substances Order (EHSO) and as part of a permission application. 

The sale or supply of PCBs is prohibited without prior written consent from EPA in the form of either an approved environment improvement plan (EIP) for PCBs or an approved Application for Consent to sell or supply PCBs. Where both the receiver and the consigner have an approved EIP, consents are not required. However, normal waste tracking obligations still apply.

Any transporter or receiving site must be lawfully authorised to transport or receive PCBs.   

When PCBs have been destroyed or disposed of , the facility that received them must: 

  • issue a Certificate of Destruction or Disposal of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (form F1004) to the occupier of the premises consigning the PCBs. 
  • state on the Certificate of Destruction or Disposal whether the PCBs have been disposed of, destroyed, or diluted to less than 2 mg/kg to enable energy recovery. 

The occupier of the premises consigning the PCBs must: 

  • ensure that they obtain a Certificate of Destruction or Disposal from the receiving facility
  • ensure that a copy of the Certificate of Destruction and Disposal is forwarded to EPA. 

Records of the Certificate of Destruction or Disposal must be maintained and made available to EPA officers upon request.

Please log into the EPA Portal to submit the following forms: 

  • Notification – PCBs present 
  • Consent – to supply or sell PCBs
  • Notification – PCBs disposed or destroyed 

For more information, refer to Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) management (publication IWRG643.2).


Reviewed 25 January 2024