UPDATE:  23 April 2020

Due to current circumstances and to support the Victorian Government’s response to it, commencement of the Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 has been postponed until 1 July 2021.  

This decision is part of the government’s focus on delivering a comprehensive suite of initiatives designed to ease the burden on business, industry and Victorians as they address the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).  

As a result of this decision, the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) will continue to regulate under the Environment Protection Act 1970, including all subordinate legislation (regulations and statutory policies including state environment protection policies and waste management policies) until the new commencement date.

The Victorian Government is committed to the EPA’s reforms and the long-term benefits they will provide for all Victorians. This is not a cancellation of the environment protection reforms. As with many aspects of working life at the present time, it is a responsive adjustment to the current circumstances. 

The EPA will continue to work with Victorian businesses, organisations and communities to prepare them for the act’s new date. This includes finalising and releasing the environment protection regulations and the Environment Reference Standard. Please visit Engage Victoria to find all the latest information. 

DELWP and EPA will continue delivering other environment protection reforms.

The Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018

The Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 provides the foundation for a transformation of Victoria’s environment protection laws and Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).

It includes a new approach to environmental issues, focusing on preventing waste and pollution impacts rather than managing those impacts after they have occurred.

The legislation will enhance the protection of Victoria’s environment and human health through a more proportionate, risk-based environment protection framework that includes:

  • A preventative approach through a general environmental duty.
  • A tiered system of EPA permissions to support risk based and proportionate regulatory oversight.
  • Significant reforms to contaminated land and waste management.
  • Increased maximum penalties.
  • Requirements for more environmental information to be publicly available.
  • Modernising and strengthening EPA’s compliance and enforcement powers.

You can view the Act at the Victorian Parliament’s website.

Subordinate legislation: Environment Protection Regulations and Environment Reference Standards

New subordinate legislation is being developed to support the new Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018.

Public consultation on the proposed Environment Protection Regulations (regulations) and the Environment Reference Standard (ERS) was held between 2 September – 31 October 2019.

The submissions received are being reviewed and considered by EPA and DELWP before regulations and ERS are made by government. All substantive comments will be responded to via a report published on Engage Victoria in 2020 along with the final subordinate legislation.

You can find a copy of the proposed regulations and the ERS on Engage Victoria here.

You can also stay up to date by subscribing to EPA newsletters here.

Explore the Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 via the links below.


Information and justice

Modernising EPA

Page last updated: 25/05/20