Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Contaminated sites compliance statement

The EPA’s Compliance Policy summarises the EPA’s general approach to compliance and enforcement of legislation that it administers.

It describes the EPA’s approach to regulation and compliance, the EPA’s response to environmental issues and non-compliance, and the EPA’s regulatory performance. The Policy guides EPA decision-making to ensure that its compliance activities and actions are consistent, fair and credible.

Compliance statement

The Contaminated Sites Compliance Statement (PDF 664KB) details the approach taken to compliance and enforcement of the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 and Contaminated Land Management Regulation 2013.

The overall objective of the EPA’s compliance activities in relation to contaminated land is improving environmental and human health outcomes. Consistent with the EPA’s Compliance Policy, a risk-based approach and an escalated regulatory response to compliance is taken to the regulation of contaminated land (Figure 1). 

Figure 1 shows the EPA’s risk-based approach to the regulation of contaminated land. If the person/s responsible for the contamination is compliant and the risk of harm to human health and the environment is low, the regulation of the site is considered low risk.  If the responsible person’s behaviour is less compliant and the risk of harm to human health and the environment is more severe, the regulation of the site is considered higher risk.

Figure 1: The EPA's risk-based approach

The Compliance Statement identifies the factors the EPA considers when selecting appropriate compliance tools and the circumstances under which the EPA escalates its response (Figure 2). The Compliance Statement also details specific requirements for compliance with statutory instruments, compliance tools and compliance monitoring.
Figure 2 shows that the EPA has a range of compliance tools available to it when choosing the most appropriate regulatory response. Figure 2 also shows how the EPA can escalate its regulatory response depending on compliance behaviour. To address unintentional non-compliance the EPA may issue advisory letters, formal warnings and official cautions. In situations of opportunistic non-compliance the EPA may escalate its response by issuing notices, directions, orders and penalty notices. To address intentional non-compliance the EPA may consider the use of enforceable undertakings and initiating prosecutions.

Figure 2: The EPA’s escalating regulatory response to non-compliance

Page last updated: 31 March 2016