Activities that require a permit sit in the medium risk tier of our Permissions scheme.
If you are applying for a permit, you need to provide detailed information about your proposed activity.
If you’re not sure your activity needs a permit, see Check if you need a permission.
Submit an application
If you’ve prepared your permit application, submit it online through the EPA portal from 1 July 2021.
If it’s your first time using our online permit application, the following guide will help you both prepare and then apply online.
Preparing your permit application
When applying for a new permit it’s important that you’re well prepared before completing an online application. The amount and type of information you provide will generally be proportionate to the level of risk from your activity. We also consider whether your proposed controls are in line with state of knowledge.
The permit application process requires you to provide information and evidence for EPA to take into account how you:
- meet your obligations under the general environmental duty (GED)
- manage your impact on human health and the environment
- meet the principles of environment protection, set out in Chapter 2, Environment Protection Act 2017
- are consistent with the Environment Protection Act 2017 and the Environment Protection Regulations 2021.
Check if your application has additional requirements. You must submit supporting evidence needed to meet any additional requirements for your application.
Completing your application
When you apply for a permit online you’ll find a helpful navigation tool, ‘Steps’, in the left-hand of the screen. This provides a step-by-step map of the question topics, from start to finish. It also tracks your progress as you move through the application form by ticking off your completed sections.
Some questions in the permit application are compulsory and these have an asterisk (*). There are also questions you don’t need to answer if they’re not relevant to your activity. If this is the case, type ‘not applicable’ and justify why in the field provided. If you leave it blank, you can’t progress.
Supplement your answers by attaching documents to the online form where necessary. This is important, as you must make sure we have enough information and evidence to assess your application. There’s an opportunity to attach documents on a dedicated page at the end of the application.
The following information gives a summary of a new permit online application process.
How to apply for a permit
Topics 1 to 4 in the permit application establish the type of application you want and who’s applying for it. Also, if you meet the criteria to hold an EPA permission.
1. Application details:
- select ‘new’ from the drop-down menu.
2. Application type:
- select ‘permit’ from the drop-down menu.
3. Applicant details:
- provide your name and contact details of permission applicants
- provide the company’s details, including ABN and ACN (if applicable).
4. Suitability to hold a permission:
These questions establish the specific activity that you need a permit for and the location where it will occur. Within this, if your activity involves receiving or transporting waste you must also provide the relevant waste code. This information is important as it identifies the waste that you will receive or transport.
5. Scheduled permission activity:
- select your relevant activity category:
- waste treatment, disposal, transport and recycling
- primary industry and allied operations
- select your relevant scheduled activity from the drop-down menu. Find a list of the permit activities authorised by EPA on Types of permits
- provide a summary of your scheduled activity (1000 word limit).
6. Activity locations:
- Provide details as to whether your activity is operating at a fixed location or is mobile. Your activity might be mobile if you transport waste or if you conduct it at multiple locations.
- If fixed, select:
- the 'add a location' button
- your location on the map or by typing into the search box in the map.
Note: After selecting your location, you can add additional details (for example your shop number if you are in a shopping centre) in the unstructured address field.
7. Waste Information:
- If you are applying for a waste-related permit, please select the appropriate waste codes and associated amounts, forms and disposal categories from the drop-down menu.
For more information on your obligations regarding receiving or transporting industrial waste, see Waste duties. For information on waste codes, see Waste codes transition to the Environment Protection Regulations 2021 (publication 1967).
- select your relevant activity category:
These questions ask for details of your proposed activity. For example, how you are undertaking it and what processes, systems and technologies are you using? Also, how are you going to eliminate or reduce any potential impact on human health or the environment. This includes consideration of reducing impact, as far as reasonably practicable. Lastly, how you’re going to manage any residual impacts.
If your activity relates to A13b – Waste and resource recovery, find resources for these questions at the bottom of this page.
8. Proposed activity
Topic 8 requires you to provide details regarding:
- Summary of the environmental characteristics of the location where you intend to conduct the activity.
- Does the activity require the construction or installation of plant or equipment?
- Describe the process and systems you will use to undertake the activity.
- Do you hold or have previously held a permission from EPA and the details of that permission, including if it relates to the activity that is the subject of the application?
- Do you require any planning or other permits from other regulatory authorities for the activity?
- Summary of the risk management framework you’re applying and how you’ve identified and assessed risk from the activity. This is a high-level summary – more specific risk questions are in topic 9 and 10.
- Outline your experience and competency to undertake the activity.
9. Environmental risk
Topic 9 asks you to demonstrate that you have considered the likely environmental risk associated with your activity. This is particularly around the generation and management of waste and the management of the risk of pollution.
Provide details regarding:
- Summary of how your management of waste will meet the principle of waste management hierarchy, see Summary of waste framework (publication 1756).
- Summary of how the activity ensures the handling, storing, use and transporting of substances minimises risks of harm. See Management and storage of combustible recyclable and waste materials – guideline (publication 1667).
- Summary of any existing or proposed emissions to air (including odour), land or groundwater relating to the activity.
- Summary of systems and processes preventing or minimising impacts to air (including odour), land and groundwater from the activity.
- If relevant to your activity, the type, quantity and treatment approach to managing industrial, priority and reportable priority waste.
For permits relating to waste transport, topic 9 asks for:
- the ownership of the vehicle
- vehicle registration and identification number
- detail of the body type of the vehicle and any relevant design elements. For more information, see Vehicle guidance: Tanker/tanker trailer (publication IWRG816) and Vehicle guidance: Non-tanker vehicles/trailers (publication IWRG814).
10. Risk considerations
Topic 10 follows on from the identification of risks in topics 8 and 9. It asks you to provide summaries of your overall risk mitigation approach. This is through technologies, systems and processes to eliminate or otherwise minimise, so far as reasonably practicable, your risk of harm to human health and the environment. It also includes confirming your approach to dealing with third parties and the local community, summarising the engagement you have undertaken or are planning to.
Provide details regarding:
- Summary of the proposed measures to comply with the general environmental duty when engaging in the activity.
- Summary of the proposed measures using the best available techniques or technologies (where relevant).
- Summary of the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the activity.
- Summary of the systems and processes that prevent or minimise greenhouse gas emissions from the activity.
- Summary of potential impacts of climate change on the activity and any proposed adaptation methods.
- Summary of environmental management systems preventing or minimising impacts of the activity on the environment.
For permit applications involving operating an outdoor concert more than 6 times in a financial year, topic 10 also requires the consideration of risk by:
- outlining the likely noise emissions that will occur from the concert
- the approach to mitigating those noise emissions.
This is in addition to the questions relating to compliance with the general environmental duty and management of greenhouse gas emissions.
11. Supporting evidence
You need to attach any supporting evidence. In the field provided, give a summary of what you’re attaching including:
- file titles
- any document references.
Here, you need to declare:
- the information you provided in the application is the truth
- you agree to perform your activity in accordance with the general environment duty (GED)
- you will eliminate or reduce any risks related to your activity so far as reasonably practicable.
During the assessment of your application, we may require additional information. We will contact you if this is the case.
12. Application summary
You can review your complete application at this step. If you identify any changes required, use the back button on the page to move back through the application steps.
13. Submit and pay
You will be given an application ID when you submit your application, it’s useful to record this number for future reference.
To finalise your application, you may need to pay an application fee. If so, you will be presented with three options:
- Return to dashboard – this keeps the application in draft status and returns you to your permissions dashboard.
- Submit and pay later – this submits the application to EPA and triggers an invoice to be sent to the key contact on the application via email. The invoice will need to be paid before the application will be assessed.
- Submit and pay now – this takes you to EPA’s online payment gateway that enables you to pay the application fee via credit card.
Check you have provided all the required information before submitting your A13b permit application online. The list of required attachments is available on how to apply for a licence or permit for a waste resource and recovery activity.
Reviewed 24 July 2023