The COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Act 2020 was introduced in April 2020 to help Victorians manage during this challenging time. This included postponing new environment protection legislation that was intended to commence on 1 July 2020.
The postponement of the commencement of the amended Environment Protection Act 2017 also meant postponing the making of the subordinate legislation, including the proposed regulations and ERS.
Proposed final versions of the Environment Protection Regulations and Environment Reference Standard (ERS) were released by Government in December 2020 to support duty holder and peer regulator readiness for the commencement of the new Act.
New legislation has commenced - 1 July 2021
The final Regulations and ERS are now publicly available. There have been no significant changes to the Regulations and ERS following the release of the proposed final versions in December last year.
EPA has sought to work with and support businesses to prepare for the new laws by continuing to engage with industry since the postponement of the new Act in 2020.
While EPA will take a practical approach to enforcement and support voluntary compliance, we will use our powers under the new legislation to protect the health of Victoria’s environment and community from the impacts of pollution and waste. You can find out how we plan to do this in our Statement of Regulatory Intent.
Thank you to all those who participated in the consultation for the draft regulations and ERS. The views of Victorians have helped shape the way Victoria prevents harm to the health of our community and environment for generations to come.
Where you can access the Environment Protection Regulations and supporting materials
The new Regulations, ERS and supporting materials can be accessed on EPA’s website.
The Response to public comment report (PDF 5MB) summarises key changes made to the draft regulations and ERS as a result of public consultation and explains why other changes have not been made.
You can view the Environment Protection Act at www.legislation.vic.gov.au
EPA has more information on helping businesses transition to the new framework on its website - https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/about-epa/laws/new-laws/changing-to-the-new-act.
On 3 February EPA held a new laws webinar which explored key changes to environmental regulations.
You can view the responses to questions from the Subordinate Legislation and New Laws Webinar here https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/for-community/get-invol...
Disclaimer: To the full extent permitted by law, EPA does not accept liability for any loss or damage suffered or for any claims whatsoever arising in any way from any party making a submission or any third party included, identified or named in a submission in any way or form.