NOTE: This page is pending updates to reflect the Environment Protection Act 2017

EPA and local councils are key organisations responsible for the regulation and management of contaminated sites in Victoria.

The community also has an important role to play in reporting contamination and pollution.

EPA can investigate issues relating to contamination, require clean-up, and can issue infringement notices. It can also take people and organisations to court for non-compliance with the Environment Protection Act 1970 ('the Act'). EPA publishes information about its enforcement activities on its website.

News and updates

Contaminated land in Victoria is regulated through a framework that encompasses several Acts, State Environment Protection Policies (SEPPs), regulations and guidelines.

The Environment Protection Act 1970 is the current Act under which contaminated land is regulated. For more information on EPA's role in regulation of land and groundwater contamination see EPA's page on land and groundwater.

The Environment Protection Amendment Act (2018) provides the foundation for a transformation of Victoria's environment protection laws and the EPA. It includes proposed reforms for contaminated land management, including the introduction of the general environmental duty, the 'Duty to Manage' contaminated land and the 'Duty to Notify' EPA of contamination. The Act was passed by parliament in August 2018 and is now intended to come into effect from 1 July 2021.

Find out more about relevant legislation and regulations via the link below.

Land and groundwater legislation

Land and groundwater

Environment Protection Amendment Act (2018)

Guidelines help businesses and the community understand the Environment Protection Act 2017, its regulations, and how they apply to them. Guidelines produced by the EPA which are relevant to contaminated land include:

A Land fact sheet and a Water fact sheet provide more information about EPA’s role in regulating land and water pollution. Guidelines will be updated to reflect the new Act.

The planning system is the primary means for regulating land use and approving development, and is an important mechanism for triggering the consideration of potentially contaminated land.

The Planning and Environment Act 1987 and Ministerial Direction No. 1 are administered by local governments. This legislation is relevant to the management of potentially contaminated land, including where land use is changing from a less sensitive use to a more sensitive use.

Planning Practice Note: Potentially Contaminated Land provides guidance for planners and applicants on potentially contaminated land.

More information about planning and contamination can be found on EPA’s website, via the link below.

Land and groundwater guidance: advice for planning authorities

Page last updated: 19/10/22