Licensed sites

Under the Environment Protection Act 2017 (the Act), licences are granted for prescribed activities requiring the highest level of regulatory control within the EPA permissions scheme (EPA publication 1799).

A licence may be held by a legal entity, whether a person, a company, a statutory corporation or a municipal council. Licences will usually include both standard and customised conditions that aim to control the operation of the premises so that there is no adverse effect on people and the environment. These conditions address areas such as waste acceptance and treatment, air and water discharges, and noise and odour. EPA continually oversees licence conditions to ensure compliance, and the Act specifies penalties for breach of licence conditions and for operating a site without a licence.

Licences are issued from EPA’s statutory activities and the information in this layer is accurate, reliable and updated on a regular basis by EPA Victoria.

For more information on data quality, see Data quality: accuracy and reliability where Data Quality Statements are available for download.

EPA licences are public documents. You can search the EPA Register of permissions for licences and other permissions such as permits and registrations.

The Victoria Unearthed Licensed Sites layer allows users to view those sites currently subject to an EPA licence. Licensed sites appear on the Victoria Unearthed map as dark blue dots or dark blue outlined shapes with vertical lines. The shapes may only be visible when you zoom in on the map to a scale of 1:250,000 or less. Shapes show a site boundary or area covered by an EPA licence and the dots are map coordinates.

For more information on licences including licence amendment, transfer, suspension/revocation, surrender, monitoring and guidelines, visit the EPA website.

Licences are granted by EPA under the Act for prescribed activities requiring the highest level of regulatory control within the EPA permissions scheme (EPA publication 1799).

An EPA licence allows businesses to discharge wastes into the environment under strict conditions and to manage prescribed industrial wastes.

There are three types of licence. All three are for high-risk activities, but they have different durations and life stages. They are:

  • pilot project licence for the research, development or demonstration of a new technology or technique.
  • development licence replacing former works approvals, this licence is for the design, construction and modification stages of complex high-risk activities.
  • operating licence for ongoing operational activities.

Victoria Unearthed at present only displays operating licences, and not pilot project or development licences.

Read more about licences

An EPA licence is required where any person, company, statutory corporation or municipal council aims to:

  • research, develop or demonstrate a new technology or technique
  • engage the design, construction and modification stages of complex high-risk activities, or
  • engage in ongoing operational activities

where the prescribed activities involved have been assessed by EPA as requiring the highest level of regulatory control within the EPA permissions scheme (EPA publication 1799).

Licensed sites are not contaminated sites – they are sites that hold a licence that may allow discharge of wastes into the environment, or accept and treat wastes, under strict conditions.

Depending on the activities undertaken at the site and the licence holder’s ability to identify and control site risks, there may be a potential for the site to be contaminated; however, this can only be confirmed via site specific monitoring undertaken as part of the licence conditions or requested following an EPA inspection.

Where a licensed site has been issued an environmental action notice or other notice to manage contamination under the Act, or a cleanup notice pursuant to section 62A or a pollution abatement notice pursuant to section 31A or 31B (relevant to land and/or groundwater) of the former Environment Protection Act 1970, the site will be included on EPA’s priority sites register, and the Priority Sites Register layer of Victoria Unearthed.

For information on the licence application and issuing process, visit the EPA website.

On Victoria Unearthed the search results (in the left side bar) click “View related reports” to be taken directly to the relevant licence on the Public Register.

The details for each licence point or area include the following information about licensed sites:

  • Status (issues, suspended, surrendered, revoked)
  • Licence number
  • Date issued
  • Last amended (date of the most recent update of the licence)
  • Permission activity
  • Place or premises
  • Premises address (the address of the licensed premises)
  • Suburb (locality in which the licensed premise is located; this may be different to the licensed entity’s registered address)
  • ACN (Australian Company Number of the entity)
  • Registered address (registered office of the licensed entity; this may be different to the premises address where the licensed activities take place)

Licences are inspected using the Licensed Operator Risk Assessment (LORA) model, a consistent and transparent approach to planned licence compliance inspections based on the risk of each site. Read more about the LORA model here.

Businesses holding operating licences under the Act are required to provide a Permission Information and Performance Statement (PIPS) when requested by EPA.

Licence holders were previously required to submit an Annual Performance Statement (APS) by 30 September each year under s31D of the former Environment Protection Act 1970, however submission of these statements is no longer required under the new Act regardless of whether the licence has been transitioned.

Read more about Annual performance statements (APS) and Permission Information and Performance Statements (PIPS) here.

Licensed operator risk assessment

Annual performance statements (APS)/Permission Information and Performance Statements (PIPS)

Search for the location on the Victoria Unearthed map, using the search box. Ensure the licences layer is turned on. On Victoria Unearthed licensed sites appear as dark blue dots or shapes. Shapes may only be visible if you zoom in to a scale of 250,000:1 or less. Click on a dot/shape and click the ‘Identify’ button to view results for the site.

Alternatively, licences can be searched on the EPA website through the Register of permissions. Select the relevant type of licence and/or activity, fill out any other details and click Search database.

Register of permissions search form on the EPA website

Please contact EPA with any queries about searching the Register or permissioning.

Page last updated: 28/07/23