Civil penalty calculation policy
New Civil Penalty Calculations Policy to implement final recommendation of the 2013 review
The EPA Civil Penalty Calculations Policy was amended on 1 August 2015 to implement the final recommendation of the 2013 Calculations Policy review to increase the penalties that will be applied in negotiating civil penalties.
Section 104A of the Environment Protection Act 1993 allows the EPA to seek a civil penalty from an alleged offender in respect of certain alleged contraventions of the Act, as an alternative to criminal prosecution.
The Calculations Policy provides a framework for calculating fair and consistent penalties while balancing the need for deterrence, accountability and equity. Participation in negotiations is voluntary.
The issue that was the subject of most discussion during the 2013 review of the Calculations Policy and consultation was whether the monetary value of negotiated civil penalties should be increased by increasing the foundation penalty by 20% to take into consideration the cost savings of avoiding court proceedings and possible conviction.
After considering the 2013 review submissions the EPA introduced a staged increase of the foundation penalty. The penalty was increased 10% in 2013 and an additional 10% increase was implemented on 1 August 2015. The staged increases ensure the continued participation in negotiations and to provide a managed increase of the penalty.
The foundation penalty for category 1 offences will increase from 60% to 70% of the maximum penalty for the offence in the Act and for category 2 and 3 offences from 35% to 45%.
The EPA will continue to review the policy to ensure that it meets its objective of providing a transparent and consistent method of calculating negotiated civil penalties. The next review of the policy will commence within 3 years.
The previous policy (dated July 2013) will continue to be applied to alleged contraventions of the Act that occurred from 8 July 2013 until 31 July 2015. The original version of the policy dated November 2006 (updated May 2009) will apply to alleged contraventions of the Act that occurred prior to 8 July 2013.