UPDATE:  1 July 2021

The Environment Protection Act 2017 (as amended by the Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018) and its subordinate legislation came into effect on 1 July 2021, transforming Victoria’s environment protection laws and the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).

It is the foundation of the Victorian Government’s response to the Independent Inquiry into the EPA.

The new laws change Victoria’s focus for environment protection and human health to a prevention-based approach. They are the most significant reform to Victoria’s environment protection framework in two generations.

The Environment Protection Act 2017 and subordinate legislation introduce new environmental obligations and protections for all Victorians.

The centrepiece of the new laws is the general environmental duty which requires all Victorians to take reasonable and practical steps to reduce the human and environmental health risks of their activities.

Penalties for corporate polluters and anyone committing offences against the environment have also been strengthened.

The Victorian Government welcomes the high level of public engagement and is grateful for the community’s contributions made to the development of the new framework.

The EPA continues to work with Victorian businesses, organisations and communities to help them transition to the new environment protection framework. DELWP and EPA will continue to deliver other environment protection reforms.

The Environment Protection Act 2017 provides the foundation for a transformation of Victoria’s environment protection laws and 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 enhances 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.

The new subordinate legislation supports the Environment Protection Act 2017.

The subordinate legislation forms part of Victoria’s new environment protection laws which sees EPA become a world class regulator preventing harm to human health and the environment.

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

Submissions to the draft regulations can be viewed here and a report describing how all substantive comments have been responded can be found on the EPA’s website here.

More information on the new laws can be found on the EPA’s website here.

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

Page last updated: 26/07/21