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Activities regulated under the:


Academic year: 2023

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The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (Department) administers a range of legislation as part of the delivery of its regulatory functions. Any suggestions or comments regarding the content of this document can be addressed to the Department by email at [email protected].

Part V of the EP Act

As a decision-making authority, the Department need not make any decision to approve an application for a construction permit or license where other governmental approvals preclude implementation. Where practicable, the Department will begin the process of assessing any applications it receives concurrently.

Offences under Part V of the EP Act

EP Regulations

A work permit, permit or registration for prescribed premises is issued to an individual or company that owns or occupies the premises (tenant), whether or not they are the owner of the premises. The Department is gradually publishing a series of guidance documents giving advice on the regulatory scope for each category under Schedule 1 of the EP Regulations.

Categories in Schedule 1 of the EP Regulations

In Annex 1, the prescribed premises are classified into categories with the corresponding category number, description of the category and production or design capacity. A space is a prescribed space in accordance with Annex 1 if the activities in the space correspond to the description of the category and the production or design capacity threshold for that activity is reached or exceeded.

Production or design capacity

Where published, fact sheets for each designated facility category provide more information on how to determine production or design capacity. For complex premises or circumstances, residents should seek specific advice from the Department on how to determine production or design capacity.

Prescribed premises boundaries

Department Guidance Statement: Decision Making sets out the process for determining whether proposed works require works approval (Refer: Related Documents). Environmental Commissioning Phase – When environmental commissioning is authorized under works approval, this phase begins after.

Figure 1: Transition from works approval to licence
Figure 1: Transition from works approval to licence

Confirmation of works

Environmental commissioning of works

Once the department has verified that all reports have been submitted to demonstrate that the work has been completed in accordance with the terms of a works approval, timed operations may commence (see Confirmation of Works below). This phase allows for time-limited operations with a view to transition to licensed operations.

Time limited operations phase

Where required this will be detailed in the works approval conditions. Environmental commissioning is testing undertaken to validate actual environmental performance in relation to anticipated performance as assessed by the Department under works approval. During environmental commissioning, emissions or discharges of waste may be permitted, depending on the conditions of approval of the works.

Conditions will be included in the works approval to manage the level of risk posed by the proposed environmental commissioning activities. The conditions of the time-limited operations phase of the works approval may be transferred, as appropriate, to the operating license. Where the operation of the premises does not meet the design specifications as assessed in the works approval application, it is likely that the premises will not be able to meet the conditions of the time-limited operation phase.

Staged construction or environmental commissioning

Once the department is satisfied that all relevant conditions of the work permit have been met, the department can accept a permit application. The department decides to grant a permit, which can be granted before the expiry of the work permit. Further guidance is available in the Clearing permits section of the Department's website (see: Related Documents).

Section 62A(1)(c) of the EP Act allows conditions to be included in a work approval or license to minimize environmental damage. Clause 2(c) of Schedule 6 of the EP Act exempts the clearing of native vegetation carried out in accordance with a work approval or license from a clearing permit. Applications to clear native vegetation as part of a work authorization application must be made through the appropriate section of the application form available on the.

Clearing delegated to DMIRS

Where a registration is cancelled, the requirements under section 56 of the EP Act apply to the occupier of the premises. If the registration of the premises is restored, Article 56 of the EP Act no longer applies to the occupiers of the premises. A works approval or license holder may apply to vary their instruments under section 59 of the EP Act.

An occupier can also apply to change the boundaries of an existing prescribed premises under section 59 of the EP Act. The EP Act and EP Regulations require a new occupier of prescribed premises to comply with the conditions of any existing work approval or license and apply to transfer the work approval or license within 30 days of the 'relevant day' of. The transfer application form is available on the licenses and work authorizations section of the department's website.

Statutory application requirements

As part of the review process, the licensee will be provided with at least 21 calendar days (section 59B(3)(c) of the EP Act) to comment on the draft revised license and draft decision report, including the opportunity to propose. alternative controls to address the identified risks. An aggrieved person can lodge an appeal with the Minister within 21 calendar days of the decision (section 102(2) of the EP Act). Notice and publication of the revised license will include details of how an appeal can be lodged.

The department only provides general assistance in relation to filling in an application form and preparing documentation for an application. If an applicant's decision is to employ expert assistance, they should ascertain the expert's experience, qualifications and competence to perform the work required before employing them. Further information and instructions on supporting information required in connection with an application for a works approval, license or variation can be found in the Licenses and Works Approvals section of the Department's website, including the application form and other guidance material (see: Related documents).

Application forms

Applicants may choose to seek detailed advice and assistance from their professional advisers or external experts on any environmental study, plan or report required to support their application.

Prescribed fees

The prescribed change fee is a one-time fee when submitting an application to change a building consent or license. Details of the prescribed fee for the transfer of a permit or building consent and the registration fee for changing the user of registered premises are contained in the application: Transfer of building consent or permit or notify the new user of registered premises on the website of the Ministry. (See: Related documents).


An application for reimbursement of the premises component fee must be accompanied by written information explaining why the premises are no longer prescribed premises. Applications for a download fee refund must be submitted within three months of the end of the license fee period.

Scoping and pre-application meetings


Department requests for information by applicants can reduce the frequency and length of delays in the assessment timeframe.

Public advertising of applications and consultations

The Department will seek comments directly from people and public bodies that the Department believes may have a direct interest in the application. When the Ministry decides on the granting of the instrument, this decision and a copy of the granted instrument are published on the Ministry's website. Applicants should note that all information in their application would normally be published (with personal details redacted) on the Ministry's website as described above.

If the Ministry determines that the information is confidential or commercially sensitive in nature, those aspects of the application will not be published on the Ministry's website and will not be shared with third parties for comment. When the Ministry determines that the information is not of a confidential or commercially sensitive nature, the applicant will be informed of this and will be given the opportunity to agree with this decision or to change or withdraw it. If the applicant disagrees with the Ministry's decision, the application will be put on hold until the Ministry's decision is reviewed in accordance with the procedures and timelines typical of Freedom of Information requests made under Freedom.

Assessment and decision-making

Licence renewal

An application for a license to replace an expiring license may be made in the same manner and using the same form as specified in Section 13.2: Application Forms.

Annual fee payment

The Ministry will consider the above information when deciding whether to grant an approval or license to build, or to indicate its intention to grant or refuse an approval or license to build. An instrument approved by the Ministry only provides a defense to the user for offenses under Part V, Division 3 of the European Parliament Act, provided that the conditions of the permit have been met, and not for potential offenses under planning legislation.

Surrender by applicant


The Department's role in the appeal process is limited to providing advice to the Appeals Convention under section 106(1)(b) of the EP Act and to the implementation of appeal decisions by the Minister under section 110(1) of the EP . Act. A decision to vary the approval or works license does not continue to have effect pending the outcome of an appeal against that decision by the applicant (section 102(5) of the EP Act). In the case of approval works, this means that any work performed prior to the determination of the third party complaint is at the logistical and financial risk of the owner of the approval works.

If the appeal is successful, it may lead to the imposition of new or modified conditions on the works approval. Appeals must be submitted to and received by the Appeals Convener within 21 calendar days from the date the work approval or licensee is notified of the decision. Further information is available from the Office of the Appeals Convenor website (Reference: Related documents), including an appeal form, appeal information sheet for work approvals and licenses, and the ability to search for active appeals or finalized appeal decisions.


Figure 1: Transition from works approval to licence
Table 1 provides examples of typical timeframes required to assess a CCIR, during  which environmental commissioning and time limited operations will be delayed


Related documents

For breach of section 181-183: statutory fiduciary duties discuss all below remedies ASIC remedies: Civil obligations civil penalty provisions s1317E for section 181, 182, 183,