You can apply to the relevant council for an exemption from an A20 permit for the construction, installation, or alteration of an on-site wastewater management system.

Section 83 of the Environment Protection Act 2017 (the Act) allows a person to apply to council for an exemption from a permit. 

An application for an A20 permit exemption must:

  • be made in the prescribed form and manner
  • specify the activity involved 
  • be accompanied by the prescribed fee
  • include any prescribed information.

An exemption granted by council has no effect unless the applicable conditions are complied with.

Permit exemption applications for prescribed permit activities need to provide evidence supporting compliance with all criteria and obligations for an exemption. This comes under both section 83 of the Act and regulation 32 of the Environment Protection Regulations 2021 (the Regulations).

Section 459 exemption 

You can apply to EPA for an exemption from any provisions of the Regulations or of a legislative instrument under section 459 of the Act. 

The use of the section 459 exemptions cannot exempt a person, or class of persons from a requirement from the Act. 

EPA must not grant an exemption unless:  

  • the exemption will not pose a serious risk of harm  
  • it is impractical to comply with the requirement for which the exemption is sought
  • the exemption is necessary to enable the efficient administration of a regulation or legislative instrument. 

Read about section 459 exemptions.

Information about onsite wastewater management 


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Reviewed 27 July 2023