Compliance and enforcement

Statutory approvals and permissions

Certain high-risk commercial or industrial activities are required to seek approval from EPA prior to building new equipment or facilities, discharging waste to the environment (even in emergency situations) or handling certain chemicals or wastes. Works approvals and research, development and demonstration approvals (RD&Ds) approvals are examples of the types of permissions that are key preventative mechanisms through which EPA protects the Victorian environment.

What is EPA focusing on?

In 2014–15 EPA will continue to conduct both desktop assessments and inspections across a range of approvals to ensure they are complied with. In particular, we will focus on works approvals, research, development and demonstration (RD&D) approvals, emergency or commissioning approvals and works approval exemptions. Compliance with approval conditions will be assessed either during the approval validity period or upon expiry, according to reporting requirements.

All standard works approvals and RD&Ds will be inspected to confirm works are complete. All fast-tracked works approvals (those issued for lower-risk activities that pose no adverse effect to third parties) and exemptions will be assessed for works complete upon notification by the operator. These may receive a desktop assessment instead of an inspection if more appropriate.

High-risk emergency discharge approvals will also be inspected. EPA is reviewing its procedures for the issue emergency discharge approvals and duty holders should ensure that they consider whether the need to discharge waste was foreseeable before they apply.

What can you do?

  • Be familiar with the requirements of your approval.
  • Notify EPA at the commencement and completion of works.
  • Ensure you comply with your approval conditions.
  • Have a plan to manage your compliance. Consider seeking professional advice where needed.
  • Have systems to determine if and when your site’s activities are not complying with your permission.


Page last updated on 22 Dec 2017