The EPA will take enforcement action against persons responsible for environmental offences. Possible actions and relevant considerations are explained in the Compliance and Enforcement Policy 2022. This may include initiating court proceedings or serving the offender with an infringement notice.
A list of the relevant legislation administered by the EPA can be found in the Acts and Regulations section of this website. Some of the most serious offences under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA) carry provision for terms of imprisonment and fines to a maximum of 1,000 penalty units.
Penalty units are changed at the start of each financial year (1 July) and the current value for penalty units is published on the Justice Department website.
Fines collected by the Crown for offences under EMPCA and its regulations are paid into the Environment Protection Fund. This fund is administered by the EPA Board, and may be used for education, training and research that assists the environment or for emergency response or other purposes set out in section 97 of EMPCA.
Fines and monetary penalties are administered under the Monetary Penalties Enforcement Act 2005 and through the Monetary Penalties Enforcement Service. Persons served with an infringement notice may elect to have the matter of the notice determined by the Courts.
The following document provides details of prosecutions by the EPA since 1996:
Prosecution-by-Court-Proceedings-1 (PDF 94Kb)