The Director EPA Alex Schaap is considering a proposal from Gunns to make a minor variation to the storm water management plan for the Bell Bay pulp mill site.
Mr Schaap said in order to do this he will need to determine whether a valid Pulp Mill permit exists as he could not purport to vary an authorisation if no such authorisation was actually in place.
"In order to establish if the permit has lapsed I will need to determine if substantial commencement has occurred," Mr Schaap said.
"I have requested that Gunns provide me with a submission setting out the reasons why the company believes substantial commencement has occurred.
"I will then take legal advice on the issues raised before making a determination on whether substantial commencement has occurred and hence whether or not the permit has lapsed.
"I will then regulate the site in accordance with that determination unless a Court orders otherwise," Mr Schaap said.