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Duty to Notify

Polluters and owners and occupiers of land have a responsibility to report pollution to either the Director EPA, or to Local Council.

Under section 32 of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA), persons responsible for an environmentally relevant activity which results in a pollutant being released into the environment are required to report the incident if the release causes, or may cause, environmental harm or environmental nuisance.

  • Director EPA must be notified (on 1800 005 171) - if the release has caused, or may cause, serious or material environmental harm, or if the activity is regulated by the EPA.
  • Local Council must be notified - if the activity is regulated by Council, or is a residential matter and is causing or may cause environmental nuisance.

Contaminated Land

If an owner or occupier of land reasonably believes or becomes aware that the land is a contaminated site, that person must notify the Director EPA (section 74B of EMPCA).

All notifications must be made within 24 hours of becoming aware of the release of the pollutant, potential or actual environmental harm, or of the land becoming a contaminated site.

Marine Pollution Incidents

In the case of a marine pollution incident involving oil, a liquid chemical, a packaged harmful substance or garbage that occurs within Tasmanian State waters, the master of the ship responsible must notify the Deputy Secretary, EPA Tasmania without delay as required by the Pollution of Waters by Oil and Noxious Substances Act 1987. Where the ship’s master is unable to comply with this requirement, or where the ship has been abandoned, notification must be provided by the owner, charterer, manager or operator of the ship or an agent of the owner, charterer, manager or operator of the ship.

Regulation 5 of the Pollution of Waters by Oil and Noxious Substances Regulations 2017 prescribes that notification may be made by telephone, radio or email. Contact information for the purposes of regulation 5 is as follows. 

Telephone:     +61 (0)3 6165 4599  or 

                     1800 005 171 (within Tasmania only)

Radio:            TasPorts Vessel Traffic Services

                     VHF radio channel 16/14/12

                     Call sign “relevant port name VTS"

Email:            incidentresponse@epa.tas.gov.au 

The name, IMO number and radio call-sign of the ship​ must be provided, and a written message must commence with the code letters "POLREP". Basic information such as the location, nature of the spill or discharge and contact details should be provided.

A ship's master or other person reporting an incident may be required to provide a detailed written report, and a report form will be supplied where necessary.

​General Environmental Duty

A person must take such steps as are practicable or reasonable to prevent or minimise environmental harm or environmental nuisance caused, or likely to be caused, by an activity conducted by that person.