The EPA assesses proposed activities that are classified as Level 2 activities under the
Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPC Act). Other activities that are not classified as Level 2 activities may also be assessed by the EPA under some circumstances.
The process generally follows these steps:
- Proposed activities are referred to the EPA directly by the proponent, or by the local Council as part of a Development Application.
- The EPA provides guidelines to the proponent which specify information about the proposal that is required to support the assessment process.
Based on the guidelines, the proponent prepares a document describing the proposal and its environmental impacts (known as a 'case for assessment'). This document is called an Environmental Effects Report (EER) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) depending on the size and potential impacts of the proposal. See Note
- The EPA reviews and evaluates the EER or EIS and may accept it or request more information.
- The EER or EIS is advertised, and public comment ('representation') is invited.
- Comments submitted by the public may raise issues that require clarification, further studies or re-evaluation, the EPA may then request more information, in the form of a supplement to the EER or EIS.
- The EPA considers the proponent's documentation, public submissions and specialist advice to evaluate the environmental impact of the proposal.
- The EPA Board determines whether to refuse the proposal, or impose environmental conditions to avoid or mitigate impacts.
- Where a Land Use Permit is required, the EPA's environmental conditions must be included in the Permit, if a Permit is granted by Council. In other cases, the environmental conditions will be imposed in an Environmental Protection Notice or Environmental Licence.
If a proposal needs approval under the Australian Government
Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) additional requirements apply.
Further information about the process, including which activities are assessed, is available in the
Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on our
Guidance Documents page.
Before 2019, the term “Development Proposal and Environmental Management Plan" (DPEMP) was used instead of EIS. Proposals that started the assessment process before 2019 will still use the term DPEMP.