Environmental Regulation Reform

Closes 13 Dec 2022

Opened 12 Sep 2022

Overview

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (the department) is seeking public comment on the discussion paper, Environmental Regulation Reform: A strategic review of regulatory delivery and fees for industry regulation.

The passing of the Environmental Protection Amendment Act 2020 (EP Amendment Act) in November 2020 resulted in the most significant reform of Western Australia’s environmental legislation in 30 years. Implementation of these reforms requires the amendment of Schedule 1 of the Environmental Protection Regulations 1987 (EP Regulations). This will necessitate consideration of the scope of activities that require regulation because of emissions and discharges and also how best to regulate these.

Our vision for a regulatory framework for emissions and discharges is one where the level of regulatory intervention is proportionate to risk, and the way we regulate activities is fit for purpose, streamlined and effective. It is serviced by a spectrum of interventions from general regulations for those activities where risks are known and well understood, to case-by-case assessment of impacts for larger or complex projects.

We are seeking to work collectively with our stakeholders to not only reflect on our previous approach but to look forward to ensure we achieve our vision for our future regulatory model.

Your feedback will help inform the drafting of amendments to the EP Regulations, including the development of a new Schedule 1 and related fee framework. More broadly, the paper seeks stakeholder views on further improvements that could be implemented through a program of regulatory reform that would extend beyond 2023.

The new Schedule 1 will regulate prescribed activities rather than prescribed premises. It will also help ensure the regulation of prescribed activities is efficient, effective, targeted and proportionate to the risk posed by emissions and discharges to the environment, public health and amenity.

The new fee framework will enable fees to better reflect the department’s cost of service for the licensing process. The department’s fee model needs to support an effective pollution-prevention and licensing service that meets the needs of our stakeholders and protects the environment and public health.

Download a copy of the discussion paper before making a submission

Have your say

The department welcomes your written submissions on the proposals outlined in the discussion paper.

The consultation period will run from 12 September 2022 to 13 December 2022.

Closing date for submissions is 5pm (WST) on Tuesday 13 December 2022.

No late submissions will be considered. Please note that submissions may be published on our website.

Should you have any questions about the consultation process or how to provide feedback, please email epactamendments@dwer.wa.gov.au or phone 08 6364 7000.

How to make a submission

Submissions can be made via this Consultation Hub. Submissions can also be sent to epactamendments@dwer.wa.gov.au or by post to:

EP Regulation Reform
Legislation and National Policy Branch
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation
Locked Bag 10 Joondalup DC WA 6919

If the views or opinions in the submission officially represent those of an organisation, please specify the name of the organisation.

If you make a submission, please be aware that in doing so, you are consenting to it being treated as a part of a public document. Your name will be published; however, your contact details will be withheld for privacy. If you do not consent to your submission being treated as part of a public document, you should mark it as confidential or specifically identify what information in the submission you consider to be confidential and include an explanation. The department may request that a non confidential summary of the material is also provided. It is important to note that even if your submission is treated as confidential by the department, it may still be disclosed in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 1992, or any other applicable written law. The department reserves the right before publishing a submission to delete any content that could be regarded as racially vilifying, derogatory, or defamatory to an individual or an organisation.

What happens next

Following public consultation, submissions will be analysed and recommendations for amendments to the EP Regulations will be made to the Minister for Environment. The department will release an exposure draft of the amendment regulations for further public consultation. It is anticipated this will occur in early to mid 2023.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

For more background information, please see our FAQs section.

Stakeholder information sessions

The department will be holding information sessions on the discussion paper commencing in the week starting 10 October 2022. To register your interest in attending, please complete and submit this form.

Tell us your views

Audiences

  • Public

Interests

  • Environmental Protection