Information on this page is not current law. It details new laws under the Environment Protection Act 2017.  New laws in the Act relating to third party remedies will come into effect from 1 July 2022.

You should report all breaches of the Environment Protection Act to EPA so we can respond.

Under the new Environment Protection Act 2017 (the Act) there are alternative ways breaches can be investigated. These are called third-party civil remedies.

Third-party civil remedies are an important new tool that gives the community broader access to justice.

What third-party civil remedies are

Third-party civil remedies are orders granted by the courts.

They're available to a person who is harmed, or could be harmed, by another person's failure to meet their legal obligations. This includes not meeting their general environmental duty.

In some circumstances the remedies also apply where it's in the public interest to address the harm.

The court can direct the person to take steps to comply with their obligations. The court may also order compensation.

How third-party civil remedies work

You must apply to the court directly to seek a third-party civil remedy when you're directly affected by a breach.

Even if you're not directly affected, you can still seek a remedy by writing to EPA and asking us to act.

If we don't act on your written request within a reasonable time, you can apply to the court to make an order for you instead. The court can only consider your application if it's satisfied it's in the public interest.

Read more about the new Act

The new Act and the community

What the new Act means for Victorian businesses

We all have a duty to prevent harm: general environmental duty

EPA’s compliance approach

Reviewed 10 September 2020