UPDATE:  16 December 2020

The commencement of the Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 (the Act) was delayed during April 2020 due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). The Victorian Government expects the Act to commence on 1 July 2021.

The Victorian Government knows duty holders need time to prepare for commencement. This is why the Victorian Government has taken the step of releasing proposed final versions of the new environment protection subordinate legislation.

The proposed final versions of the Environment Protection Regulations (Regulations) and the Environment Reference Standard (ERS) and the Response to Public Comments report are now available on the EPA website. This will give Victorians time to prepare for commencement of the new environment protection framework.

Go to proposed final version
EP Regulations & ERS

These proposed final versions of the Regulations and ERS have not yet been recommended to the Governor in Council for making but reflect the Victorian Government’s endorsed policy. We do not expect any changes to be made to these proposed final versions.

Once the process to finalise the subordinate legislation is complete, government will release the final versions.

Until the Act commences, 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).

The EPA will continue to work with Victorian businesses, organisations and communities to prepare them for the commencement of the new environment protection framework. DELWP and EPA will continue to deliver other environment protection reforms.

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.

New subordinate legislation has been developed to support the new Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018.

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

Public consultation on the proposed Regulations and the ERS was held between 2 September and 31 October 2019.

During this consultation period, the Victorian Government received submissions from a wide range of community members and groups, businesses and industry associations, consultants, environmental law and advocacy groups. These can be viewed here:

The submissions received were reviewed by EPA and DELWP and inform the proposed final versions of the subordinate legislation. All substantive comments have been responded to via a Response to Comments report published on the EPA’s website, along with the proposed final versions of the subordinate legislation.

You can find a copy of the Response to Comments report and the proposed final versions of the Regulations and the ERS on EPA’s website 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: 04/01/21