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PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT OPERATIONS ACT 1997

- As at 7 July 2017
- Act 156 of 1997

TABLE OF PROVISIONS

           Long Title

CHAPTER 1 - PRELIMINARY

   1.      Name of Act
   2.      Commencement
   3.      Objects of Act
   4.      Definitions
   5.      Scheduled activities
   6.      Appropriate regulatory authority
   7.      General relationship with other Acts
   8.      Notes

CHAPTER 2 - PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT POLICIES

   PART 2.1 - INTRODUCTION

   9.      Definitions
   10.     Purpose of PEPs
   11.     Contents of PEPs

   PART 2.2 - DRAFT POLICIES

   12.     Preparation of draft PEP
   13.     General considerations in preparing draft PEP

   PART 2.3 - GENERAL PROCEDURE FOR PREPARING DRAFT POLICIES

   14.     Application of Part
   15.     EPA to give notice of intention to prepare draft PEP
   16.     EPA to prepare draft PEP and impact statement
   17.     Public consultation on draft PEP and impact statement
   18.     Other consultation during preparation of draft PEP
   19.     EPA to consider impact statement and submissions
   20.     Submission of draft PEP to Minister

   PART 2.4 - SPECIAL PROCEDURE FOR PREPARING DRAFT POLICIES

   21.     Application of Part
   22.     Directions
   23.     Effect of direction
   24.     Submission of draft PEP to Minister

   PART 2.5 - MAKING POLICIES

   25.     Recommendation for making PEP
   26.     Making of PEP

   PART 2.6 - INTERIM POLICIES

   27.     Interim PEPs

   PART 2.7 - IMPLEMENTING POLICIES

   28.     Implementing PEPs-action under this Act and other environment protection legislation
   29.     Implementing PEPs-action under Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
   30.     Implementing PEPs-action by public authorities
   31.     Discretions and functions of public authorities
   32.     Definition of “public authority”

   PART 2.8 - MISCELLANEOUS

   33.     Amendment or repeal of PEPs
   34.     Publication and commencement of PEPs
   35.     Machinery matters for which PEPs may make provision
   36.     PEPs not to create offences
   37.     Judicial notice and validity of PEPs
   38.     Failure to comply with procedural requirements
   39.     Copies of PEPs to be available to public
   40.     Abandonment of draft PEP
   41.     Subordinate Legislation Act 1989 does not apply to PEPs

CHAPTER 3 - ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION LICENCES

   PART 3.1 - INTRODUCTION

   42.     Environment protection licences
   43.     Types of licences
   44.     Integration of licensing
   45.     Matters to be taken into consideration in licensing functions
   46.     Operation of this Chapter

   PART 3.2 - LICENCES REQUIRED FOR SCHEDULED DEVELOPMENT WORK AND SCHEDULED ACTIVITIES

   47.     Licensing requirement-scheduled development work
   48.     Licensing requirement-scheduled activities (premises-based)
   49.     Licensing requirement-scheduled activities (not premises-based)
   50.     Timing of licensing of development requiring consent under EP&A Act
   51.     Integrated development
   52.     Commencement of licensing requirements

   PART 3.3 - ISSUE, TRANSFER AND VARIATION OF LICENCES

   53.     Application for issue of licence
   54.     Application for transfer of licence
   55.     Grant or refusal of application
   56.     Premises to which licence applies
   57.     Licence fees
   58.     Variation of licences
   59.     Restrictions on making applications
   60.     Requirement for further information
   61.     Reasons to be given for grant or refusal of certain licence applications
   62.     Copyright

   PART 3.4 - LICENCE CONDITIONS

   63.     Conditions
   64.     Failure to comply with condition

   PART 3.5 - PARTICULAR LICENCE CONDITIONS

   65.     Part not exclusive
   66.     Conditions requiring monitoring, certification or provision of information, and related offences
   67.     Conditions for mandatory environmental audits
   68.     Conditions requiring pollution studies and reduction programs
   69.     Conditions relating to schemes for economic measures and environmental monitoring programs
   70.     Conditions for financial assurances
   71.     Conditions for remediation work on premises
   72.     Conditions for insurance cover
   73.     Conditions to take effect later
   74.     Conditions for positive covenants
   75.     Conditions relating to waste
   76.     Post-closure requirements for waste facilities or other licensed premises

   PART 3.6 - DURATION AND REVIEW OF LICENCES

   77.     Duration of licence
   78.     Review of licences

   PART 3.7 - SUSPENSION, REVOCATION AND SURRENDER OF LICENCES

   79.     Suspension or revocation of licence by appropriate regulatory authority
   80.     Surrender of licence
   81.     Conditions of suspension, revocation or surrender
   82.     Minister may suspend or revoke licence if holder convicted of major pollution offence

   PART 3.8 - MISCELLANEOUS

   83.     Fit and proper persons
   84.     Date from which decision operates
   85.     Death of licensee
   86.     Notice for breach of licensing requirements
   87.     (Repealed)
   88.     Contributions by licensee of waste facility

CHAPTER 4 - ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION NOTICES

   PART 4.1 - PRELIMINARY

   89.     Definitions
   90.     Classification of environment protection notices

   PART 4.2 - CLEAN-UP NOTICES

   91.     Clean-up by occupiers or polluters
   92.     Clean-up by public authorities
   93.     Clean-up directions may be given orally
   94.     Fee

   PART 4.3 - PREVENTION NOTICES

   95.     Meaning of environmentally unsatisfactory manner
   96.     Preventive action
   97.     Offence
   98.     Action in event of failure to comply
   99.     Commencement of operation of prevention notices or variations
   100.    Fee

   PART 4.4 - PROHIBITION NOTICES

   101.    Prohibition on activities
   102.    Offence
   103.    Action in event of failure to comply

   PART 4.5 - COMPLIANCE COST

   104.    Compliance cost notices
   105.    Recovery of amounts
   106.    Registration of compliance cost notices in relation to land
   107.    Charge on land subject to compliance cost notice

   PART 4.6 - MISCELLANEOUS

   108.    Multiple notices
   109.    Extraterritorial application
   109A.   (Repealed)
   110.    Revocation or variation
   111.    Power to enter land
   112.    Obstruction of persons
   113.    False or misleading statements in reports

CHAPTER 5 - ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION OFFENCES

   PART 5.1 - CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCES

   114.    Classification of offences

   PART 5.2 - TIER 1 OFFENCES

   115.    Disposal of waste-harm to environment
   116.    Leaks, spillages and other escapes
   117.    Emission of ozone depleting substances
   118.    General defence for tier 1 offences
   119.    Maximum penalty for tier 1 offences

   PART 5.3 - WATER POLLUTION

   120.    Prohibition of pollution of waters
   121.    Defence of authority conferred by regulation
   122.    Defence of authority conferred by licence
   123.    Maximum penalty for water pollution offences

   PART 5.4 - AIR POLLUTION

           Division 1 - General

   124.    Operation of plant (other than domestic plant)
   125.    Maintenance work on plant (other than domestic plant)
   126.    Dealing with materials
   127.    Proof of causing pollution
   128.    Standards of air impurities not to be exceeded
   129.    Emission of odours from premises licensed for scheduled activities
   130.    Provisions prevail
   131.    Exclusion of residential premises
   132.    Maximum penalty for air pollution offences

           Division 2 - Air pollution from fires

   133.    Prohibition by EPA of burning in open air or incinerators
   134.    Directions by authorised officers concerning fires
   135.    Offence

           Division 3 - Domestic air pollution

   135A.   Definitions
   135B.   Smoke abatement notices
   135C.   Contravention of smoke abatement notices
   135D.   Revocation of smoke abatement notices

   PART 5.5 - NOISE POLLUTION

   136.    Sale of articles emitting more than prescribed noise
   137.    Sale of articles required to be fitted with noise control equipment
   138.    Defence-sale of articles
   139.    Operation of plant
   140.    Dealing with materials
   141.    Maximum penalty for noise offences

   PART 5.6 - LAND POLLUTION AND WASTE

           Division 1 - Preliminary

   142.    Definition

           Division 2 - Land pollution

   142A.   Pollution of land
   142B.   Defence of authority conferred by regulation
   142C.   Defence of authority conferred by licence
   142D.   Defences relating to pesticides and fertilisers and other substances
   142E.   Defences relating to unlicensed landfills

           Division 3 - Waste offences

   143.    Unlawful transporting or depositing of waste
   144.    Use of place as waste facility without lawful authority
   144AA.  False or misleading information about waste
   144AB.  Repeat waste offenders
   144AC.  Use of approved GPS tracking device required by EPA for waste transportation vehicles

   PART 5.6A - LITTERING

   144A.   Definitions
   145.    Littering generally
   145A.   Aggravated littering
   146.    Owners and drivers of motor vehicles and trailers involved in littering
   146A.   Depositing of advertising material
   146B.   Advertising material not to be placed in or on vehicles
   146C.   Offence to cause or ask person to commit offence
   146D.   Littering reports
   146E.   Restrictions on release of balloons
   146F.   Application of Part to State waters

   PART 5.7 - DUTY TO NOTIFY POLLUTION INCIDENTS

   147.    Meaning of material harm to the environment
   148.    Pollution incidents causing or threatening material harm to be notified
   149.    Manner and form of notification
   150.    Relevant information to be given
   151.    Incidents not required to be reported
   151A.   EPA may require other notification of pollution incidents
   152.    Offence
   153.    Incriminating information

   PART 5.7A - DUTY TO PREPARE AND IMPLEMENT POLLUTION INCIDENT RESPONSE MANAGEMENT PLANS

   153A.   Duty of licence holder to prepare pollution incident response management plan
   153B.   EPA may direct other persons to prepare pollution incident response management plan
   153C.   Information to be included in plan
   153D.   Keeping of plan
   153E.   Testing of plan
   153F.   Implementation of plan

   PART 5.8 - MOTOR VEHICLES

           Division 1 - Preliminary

   154.    Definitions

           Division 2 - Sale and maintenance of motor vehicles

   155.    Sale of motor vehicles
   156.    Sale of motor vehicles without anti-pollution devices
   157.    Adjustment etc of anti-pollution devices and motor vehicles
   158.    Service or repair of motor vehicles
   159.    Sale of motor vehicles not serviced, maintained or adjusted as prescribed
   160.    Defences
   161.    Notices
   162.    Minister’s power to prohibit use of motor vehicles in certain circumstances

           Division 3 - (Repealed)
           None

           Division 4 - Registration of motor vehicles

   165.    Suspension of registration
   166.    Prohibition on registration

   PART 5.9 - GENERAL OFFENCES

   167.    Control equipment
   168.    Ancillary offences
   169.    Liability of directors etc for offences by corporation-offences attracting special executive liability
   169A.   Liability of directors etc for offences by corporation-offences attracting executive liability generally
   169B.   Liability of directors etc for offences by corporation-accessory to the commission of the offences
   169C.   Evidence as to state of mind of corporation
   170.    Extra-territoriality

CHAPTER 6 - ENVIRONMENTAL AUDITS

   PART 6.1 - PRELIMINARY

   171.    Relationship of this Chapter to other provisions
   172.    Nature of environmental audit
   173.    Accreditation and regulation of environmental auditors

   PART 6.2 - MANDATORY ENVIRONMENTAL AUDITS

   174.    Conditions for mandatory environmental audits
   175.    Circumstances in which mandatory environmental audit can be imposed
   176.    Certification of audit report
   177.    Offences
   178.    Self-incriminatory information not exempt
   179.    Use of information

   PART 6.3 - VOLUNTARY ENVIRONMENTAL AUDITS

   180.    Nature of voluntary environmental audit
   181.    Protected documents
   182.    Nature of protection
   183.    Lifting of protection

CHAPTER 7 - INVESTIGATION

   PART 7.1 - PRELIMINARY

   184.    Purposes for which powers under Chapter may be exercised
   185.    Effect on other functions
   186.    Extension of Chapter to other environment protection legislation

   PART 7.2 - AUTHORISED OFFICERS AND ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS

   187.    Appointment of authorised officers
   188.    Scope of authority
   189.    Identification
   189A.   Powers of enforcement officers

   PART 7.3 - POWERS TO REQUIRE INFORMATION OR RECORDS

   190.    Application of Part
   191.    Requirement to provide information and records (EPA)
   192.    Requirement to provide information and records (other regulatory authorities)
   193.    Requirement to provide information and records (authorised officers)
   194.    Manner, time etc for compliance
   195.    Provisions relating to records

   PART 7.4 - POWERS OF ENTRY AND SEARCH OF PREMISES

   196.    Powers of authorised officers to enter premises
   197.    Entry into residential premises only with permission or warrant
   198.    Powers of authorised officers to do things at premises
   198A.   Power to disable intruder alarms
   199.    Search warrants
   199A.   Authorised officers may request assistance
   200.    Assistance to be given to authorised officers
   201.    Care to be taken
   202.    Compensation

   PART 7.5 - POWERS TO QUESTION AND TO IDENTIFY PERSONS

   203.    Power of authorised officers to require answers
   203A.   Recording of evidence
   204.    Power of authorised officers to demand name and address

   PART 7.6 - POWERS WITH RESPECT TO VEHICLES, VESSELS AND OTHER ARTICLES

   205.    Definitions
   205A.   Application of Part
   206.    Power to inspect and test
   207.    Power to require articles to be tested or inspected
   208.    Stopping of vehicles and vessels for inspection or testing
   209.    Power to seize articles (other than vehicles or vessels) to test for noise
   210.    Power to require information about articles

   PART 7.6A - SEIZURE OF MOTOR VEHICLES OR VESSELS USED TO COMMIT REPEAT WASTE OFFENCES

   210A.   Definitions
   210B.   Seizure of motor vehicles or vessels used to commit repeat waste offences
   210C.   Forfeiture of motor vehicles or vessels by order of court
   210D.   Return of seized motor vehicle or vessel
   210E.   Forfeited motor vehicles or vessels become the property of the State

   PART 7.7 - GENERAL

   211.    Offences
   212.    Provisions relating to requirements to furnish records, information or answer questions
   212A.   Revocation or variation
   212B.   Extraterritorial application
   212C.   Actions by incorrect regulatory authority
   212D.   Appropriate regulatory authority may continue to exercise functions
   212E.   Extraterritorial exercise of functions

CHAPTER 8 - CRIMINAL AND OTHER PROCEEDINGS

   PART 8.1 - PRELIMINARY

   213.    Application of Chapter

   PART 8.2 - PROCEEDINGS FOR OFFENCES

           Division 1 - Proceedings for offences generally

   214.    Proceedings for tier 1 offences
   215.    Proceedings for other offences
   216.    Time within which summary proceedings may be commenced

           Division 2 - Who may institute proceedings for offences

   217.    EPA or other appropriate regulatory authority may institute proceedings
   218.    Other authorities who may also institute proceedings
   218A.   Agents may institute proceedings
   219.    Other persons may institute proceedings with leave of Land and Environment Court
   220.    Officers and employees of authorities
   221.    Penalty notices and related proceedings

           Division 3 - Penalty notices (tier 3 offences)

   222.    Penalty notice offences
   223.    What is a penalty notice?
   224.    Service of penalty notices
   225.    Consequences of paying penalty in accordance with penalty notice
   226.    Enforcement officers
   227.    Penalty payable
   228.    Withdrawal of penalty notice
   229.    Effect on other provisions

           Division 4 - Restraining orders

   230.    Application of Division
   231.    Nature of restraining order
   232.    Application for restraining order
   233.    Making of restraining order
   234.    Undertakings
   235.    Ancillary orders
   236.    Charge on property subject to restraining orders
   237.    Registration of restraining orders
   237A.   Recovery of costs of registering charge on land
   237B.   Recovery of costs of lodging caveat
   238.    Contravention of restraining orders
   239.    Court may revoke restraining order
   240.    Time when restraining order ceases to be in force

           Division 5 - Sentencing

   241.    Matters to be considered in imposing penalty

           Division 6 - Continuing offences

   242.    Continuing offences

   PART 8.3 - COURT ORDERS IN CONNECTION WITH OFFENCES

   243.    Operation of Part
   244.    Orders generally
   245.    Orders for restoration and prevention
   246.    Orders for costs, expenses and compensation at time offence proved
   247.    Recovery of costs, expenses and compensation after offence proved
   248.    Orders regarding costs and expenses of investigation
   249.    Orders regarding monetary benefits
   250.    Additional orders
   251.    Offence

   PART 8.4 - CIVIL PROCEEDINGS TO REMEDY OR RESTRAIN BREACHES OF ACT OR HARM TO ENVIRONMENT OR ENFORCE UNDERTAKINGS

   252.    Remedy or restraint of breaches of this Act or regulations
   253.    Restraint of breaches of an Act or statutory rules that harm the environment
   253A.   Enforcement of undertakings

   PART 8.5 - EVIDENTIARY PROVISIONS

   254.    Definitions
   255.    Evidence of threshold tests for scheduled activities
   256.    Onus of proof of certain matters
   257.    Occupier of premises responsible for pollution from premises
   258.    Evidence relating to occupier of premises
   259.    Proof of certain appointments not required
   260.    Documentary evidence generally
   261.    Certificate evidence of certain matters
   262.    Evidence of analysts

   PART 8.6 - NOISE-SPECIAL PROVISIONS

           Division 1 - Noise control notices-regulatory authorities

   263.    Definition of “appropriate regulatory authority”
   264.    Noise control notices relating to premises
   265.    Offence to contravene noise control notice
   266.    Revocation or variation of noise control notices
   267.    Commencement of operation of noise control notices
   267A.   Fee
   267B.   Compliance costs

           Division 2 - Noise abatement orders-Local Court

   268.    Issue of noise abatement orders
   269.    Contravention of noise abatement order
   270.    Restrictions on noise abatement orders
   271.    Commencement of operation of noise abatement order
   272.    Revocation or variation of noise abatement orders
   273.    Costs
   274.    (Repealed)

           Division 3 - Noise abatement directions-police and other authorised persons

   275.    Definition of “authorised person”
   276.    Issue of noise abatement directions
   277.    Contravention of noise abatement directions
   278.    Restrictions on noise abatement directions
   279.    Revocation of noise abatement directions

           Division 4 - Police powers regarding noise

   280.    Powers of entry by police by warrant
   281.    Powers of police after entry by warrant
   282.    Police powers to seize equipment
   283.    Other police powers not affected

CHAPTER 9 - MISCELLANEOUS

   PART 9.1 - EXEMPTIONS

   284.    Exemptions by EPA in emergencies and other situations
   285.    Exemption for fire brigades and other emergency services
   286.    Exemptions by regulation

   PART 9.2 - APPEALS

   287.    Appeals regarding licence applications and licences
   288.    Appeals regarding notices under section 86 relating to work at premises
   289.    Appeals against prevention notices
   289A.   Appeals regarding notices under section 144AC relating to use of approved GPS tracking devices
   290.    Appeals regarding noise
   291.    Appeals regarding decisions under the regulations
   292.    Determination of appeals

   PART 9.3 - ECONOMIC MEASURES

   293.    Schemes for economic measures
   293A.   Alteration, suspension or termination of a scheme
   294.    Liability of Crown
   294A.   Exercise of functions by Minister and EPA
   295.    Regulations

   PART 9.3A - TRADEABLE EMISSION SCHEMES

   295A.   Definitions
   295B.   Tradeable emission schemes
   295C.   Regulations relating to tradeable emission schemes
   295D.   Licence conditions
   295E.   Imposition of penalties for contravention of scheme
   295F.   Other action that may be taken by EPA
   295G.   Participation in scheme by EPA
   295H.   Cost recovery
   295I.   Tradeable Emission Schemes Fund
   295J.   Exercise of scheme functions by other persons and bodies
   295K.   Liability for operation of scheme
   295L.   Application of Duties Act 1997

   PART 9.3B - GREEN OFFSETS

   295M.   Definitions
   295N.   Licence conditions
   295O.   Green offset schemes
   295P.   Green offset works
   295Q.   Regulations relating to green offsets
   295R.   Action that may be taken by EPA in relation to green offset schemes or works
   295S.   Administrative costs
   295T.   Payment of contributions
   295U.   Green Offsets Fund
   295V.   Exercise of scheme functions by other persons and bodies
   295W.   Liability for operation of scheme
   295X.   Application of Duties Act 1997

   PART 9.3C - ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING

   295Y.   Environmental monitoring programs
   295Z.   Environmental monitoring levies
   295ZA.  Environmental Monitoring Fund

   PART 9.3D - POLLUTION INCIDENTS-ANALYSIS OF RISK

   295ZB.  Definition
   295ZC.  Conduct of health risk analysis
   295ZD.  Conduct of environmental risk analysis
   295ZE.  Recovery of costs of analysis
   295ZF.  Recovery from responsible persons
   295ZG.  General provisions

   PART 9.4 - FINANCIAL ASSURANCES

   296.    Purpose of this Part
   297.    Definition of “conditions” of licence
   298.    Requiring financial assurances
   299.    Restriction on requiring financial assurance
   300.    Amount of financial assurances
   301.    Guidelines about financial assurances
   302.    Carrying out of work or program when licensee fails to do so
   303.    Claim on or realising of financial assurance
   304.    Lapsing of financial assurance
   305.    Liability of appropriate regulatory authority, State and others
   306.    Financial assurance not to affect other action
   307.    Disputes regarding call on or use of financial assurance

   PART 9.5 - PUBLIC REGISTER

   308.    Public register
   309.    Public availability of register

   PART 9.6 - FORMAL INQUIRIES

   310.    Conduct of inquiries
   311.    Person or body conducting inquiries
   312.    Procedures at inquiries
   313.    Public nature of inquiries
   314.    Report of inquiry

   PART 9.7 - OTHER MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

   315.    Act to bind Crown
   316.    Resolution of disputes between EPA and public authorities
   317.    Appointment of persons to exercise certain functions
   318.    Exercise of local authority’s licensing functions by EPA
   319.    Disclosure of information
   319A.   Continuing effect of notices and conditions
   320.    Disclosure of monitoring data
   320A.   False representations as to EPA approval, use or recommendation and licences
   321.    Service of notices
   322.    Effect of this Act on other rights, remedies and proceedings
   323.    Regulations
   324.    Repeals
   325.    (Repealed)
   326.    Savings, transitional and other provisions
   327.    Review of Act
           SCHEDULE 1
           SCHEDULE 2
           SCHEDULE 2A
           SCHEDULE 3
           Schedule 4 (Repealed)
           SCHEDULE 5
           Dictionary


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