‘Proposed final’ versions of the new subordinate legislation – the Environment Protection Regulations and Environment Reference Standard (ERS) – have been released to support Victorians to prepare for the new Environment Protection laws.
When the new laws commence, we’ll use a new range of tools called ‘permissions’. While we currently have licences, permits and registrations will be two other levels of permissions. This new approach is risk-based and flexible. It aims to make it easier for businesses to meet their environmental obligations.
Understanding the new requirements
From July 1 some activities that didn’t need our authorisation will need a permission. For example, you will need a registration if your activity involves:
- smaller landfills
- small-scale tyre waste storage
- dry cleaning.
Some temporary activities, like outdoor concerts and use of some wastes, now need a permit.
Most of the waste industry needs a permission. This includes:
New requirements give authority for approved lawful places to receive certain types of waste.
Check the following permissions summary to make sure your business will be operating lawfully from 1 July 2021.
About licences for high-risk activities
Licences are our permissions tool for high-risk, high complexity activities. From 1 July 2021 there will be three types of licences.
When you need a development licence
Examples of when you might need a development licence include if you:
- undertake an activity that needed a works approval before 1 July 2021
- set up a medium or large-scale waste and resource recovery facility (WRR).
When you need an operating licence
An example of when you might need an operating licence:
- if you undertake an activity that needed a licence before 1 July 2021.
Have a large-scale waste resource recovery (WRR) facility that:
- receives or processes more than 4,000 tonnes of waste (including combustible waste) a month
- stores more than 10,000 m³ of waste at any time.
When you need a pilot project licence
Pilot project licences are for research, development or demonstration of a new technology or technique.
About permits for medium-risk activities
Permits are our permissions tool for medium-risk activities. Examples of when you might need a permit include if you:
- undertake an activity that needed an EPA or council approval before 1 July 2021
- operate a small municipal landfill
- supply or use reportable priority waste.
You will also need a permit for WRR facilities that:
- receive and process more than 4,000 tonnes of waste (excluding combustible waste) a month
- store more than 10,000 m³ of waste at a time.
Some activities that didn’t require an EPA permission or approval before 1 July 2021 will require a permit after that date. Businesses starting an ongoing scheduled activity before the new regulations come into force will also need a permit.
If you need a permit, you must apply before the end of any temporary exemption period that Regulations set.
About registrations for low-risk activities
Registrations are our permissions tool for low-risk activities. Some smaller operators will need a registration when the new laws commence. This includes some operators falling below levels set out in the Scheduled Premises Regulations. These levels relate to:
- the capacity your business can handle
- the volume of material your business produces or handles.
Examples of when you might need a registration include if you are:
- a council, health service or ambulance service temporarily storing biomedical waste
- temporarily storing asbestos
- temporarily storing 1,000 litres or less of designated waste not created on your site
- transporting waste in a vehicle (depending on the type of waste)
- a WRR facility storing 5 to 5,000 m³ of waste (including combustible waste) at a time
- a dry cleaner.
If your existing activity needs a registration, you must apply before the end of any temporary exemption period Regulations set.
If your activity is new and starts operating from 1 July 2021, there’s no exemption period. You must apply for a registration before your activity starts.
What new laws mean for current EPA licence, approval or exemption holders
Most activities that already have a licence, approval or exemption will need a permission when the new laws commence. EPA will transition all existing licences, approvals and exemptions to the new Act by:
- contacting licence holders to explain the changes
- changing waste acceptance and treatment codes, and their conditions
- changing conditions to reflect the new laws.
- licences become operating licences
- permits and other approvals become permits or registrations
- many exemptions will need a permission.
What to do if you currently have an exemption
Apply for a permit if you held an exemption 1 July 2021 for:
- running a municipal landfill for a council serving less than 5,000 people
- running a temporary on-site plant to treat waste not created on your site.
Apply for a registration if you held an exemption before 1 July 2021 for temporarily storing:
- biomedical waste not created on your site
- asbestos not created on your site
- designated waste not created on your site.
Check this page for updates on when you must apply.
Read more about permissions and licences
Reviewed 18 March 2021