Environmental Regulation Reform

Closed 16 Dec 2022

Opened 12 Sep 2022

Overview

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.

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (the department) is 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.

The department sought public feedback on the discussion paper, Environmental Regulation Reform: A strategic review of regulatory delivery and fees for industry regulation, to help inform the drafting of amendments to the EP Regulations, including the development of a new Schedule 1 and related fee framework. The paper also more broadly sought 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

Download the presentation on Environmental Regulation Reform

Consultation

The department thanks everyone for their written submissions on the proposals outlined in the discussion paper.

The consultation period ran for a 12-week period from 12 September 2022 to 16 December 2022.

Submissions were accepted via this Consultation Hub, sent to epactamendments@dwer.wa.gov.au or by post. The department held public information sessions on the discussion paper in October 2022.

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

What happens next?

Following public consultation, the submissions have been analysed and recommendations for amendments to the EP Regulations made to the Minister for Environment. The department will release a consultation draft of the amendment regulations for further public consultation. It is anticipated this will occur in mid-2024.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

For more background information, please see our FAQs section.

Related information

Amendments to the Environmental Protection Act 1986

Discussion paper

Frequently asked questions

Presentation

Audiences

  • Public

Interests

  • Environmental Protection