Advice & assistance
The EPA has a range of position statements and guidelines that describe its position on environmental issues for each stage of the EPA’s involvement in the planning system.
Prior to lodgement of an application an applicant may discuss with the EPA its position on relevant environmental issues. This may assist you with addressing the EPA’s concerns.
Information listed in Table 1 of the development referral checklist should be made available when commencing informal pre-lodgement discussions with the EPA.
If desired, a formal Pre-Lodgement Agreement, can be prepared for submission with the development application. The Pre-Lodgement Agreement removes the need for the application to be referred to the EPA when it is formally lodged.
If you would like to discuss the option of entering into a pre-lodgement agreement with the EPA or to discuss specific information in relation to a development application that has been referred to the EPA, please contact the Client Services Officer (Planning and Impact Assessment) on tel: (08) 8204 9075 or fax: (08) 8124 4673.
Overarching position statements
Site contamination framework
The site contamination framework ensures that, as far as is practically possible, land is not developed for a more sensitive use unless/until site contamination risks have been considered and appropriate cost-effective measures put in place to protect and sustainably manage our environment to ensure safe and healthy communities.
Development application (DA) assessment process and checklist
Changes to Development Application (DA) assessment process
On 9 April 2020 the Development (Public Health Emergency) Variation Regulations 2020 were gazetted and came into effect. These Regulations amend the Development Act 1993 and the Development Regulations 2008 and remain in effect until 30 September 2020 (or another date designated by the Minister for Planning).
In relation to development applications (DAs) referred to the EPA after 9 April 2020, these changes mean that the EPA:
- has 20 business days to finalise its response to all types of DAs (regardless of their referral category)
- is only allowed to make 1 request for further information from applicants
- is required to advise applicants they have a maximum of 5 business days to respond to a request for further information (noting that applicants can seek to have an extension).
‘The location of your development will determine whether the Development Act or Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act applies. Advice should be sought from your local council.
Your DA may be referred to the EPA for assessment of potential environmental impacts.
Schedule 5 of the Development Regulations 2008 and Schedule 8 of Planning, Development and Infrastructure (General) (Development Assessment) Regulations 2019 describes the plans that must accompany an application for development.
It is important that the EPA understands the proposed activities, the potential environmental impacts that may arise and how those impacts would be minimised and managed.
As such, a development referral checklist has been developed to assist applicants and relevant authorities identify information that should be included with an EPA referral.
The checklist includes information required for all development applications (Table 1), and lists common details that may be required depending on the nature of the activity or site (Table 2). Inclusion of this information will expedite assessment of the application.
The EPA may seek further information in the form of 'additional documents or information (including calculations and technical details)’ to assist assessment of the application.
Some development activities require a licence under the Environment Protection Act 1993. Although you can apply for a licence when you submit a development application, the licence assessment will not be finalised until after the relevant authority has made a decision on the development application.