The EPA has issued a clear warning to business - understand the
law, your obligations and ensure you are complying. The EPA intends
to reinstate its role as the regulator and authority on the
environment in Victoria. It intends to be more consistent, more
transparent and take more responsibility. It expects business to do
The 400-page report contains over 100 recommendations for reform
of the regulator. While the EPA will still support sustainability,
innovation and companies that go 'beyond compliance', the
focus is on compliance and enforcement.
The Review recommends that the EPA significantly increase its
level of compliance monitoring and increase the level of
enforcement and prosecutions. The EPA will also take more
responsibility for decision-making and provision of expertise,
which to date has often been delegated to auditors at great expense
Other important recommendations include:
The EPA implementing a pilot scheme for review of enforcement
decisions by authorised officers, namely pollution abatement
notices and clean-up notices.
Adopt a risk-based and responsive regulatory model, and clearly
communicate its activities in the context of its regulatory
Given the Review and its recommendations, it is now more
important than ever for business to exercise due diligence, to
ensure that environmental management systems are up-to-date,
understood and implemented.
The Review represents an important change to the role and
culture of the EPA. The recommendations for improvement of the
EPA's performance in terms of consistency and transparency are
likely to be supported by industry. However the practical
implications and effects of the Review will depend on the detail of
how the recommendations are implemented by the EPA.
DLA Phillips Fox is one of the largest legal firms in
Australasia and a member of DLA Piper Group, an alliance of
independent legal practices. It is a separate and distinct legal
entity. For more information visit
This publication is intended as a first point of reference and
should not be relied on as a substitute for professional advice.
Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to any
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This legal update is an overview of existing eligible project activities and new project types proposed to be developed.
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