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:


Reviewed 26 October 2022