Legislation and Policies
Environment Protection Act 1997
There is legislation in the ACT that protects the environment from pollution and its effects. This legislation is the Environment Protection Act 1997 (the Act). The Act provides the regulatory framework to help reduce and eliminate the discharge of pollutants into the air, land and water.
The Act establishes the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) as the statutory decision maker for environmental regulation and policy. The EPA administers legislation covering air and water quality, waste, contaminated land, noise, pesticides and hazardous waste.
- Environment Protection Act 1997
- Environment Protection Regulation 2005
- Magistrates Court (Environment Protection Infringement Notices) Regulation 2005
- Environment Protection (Fees) Determination
- Environment Protection (Noise Measurement Manual)
- Environment Regulation and Protection Compliance and Enforcement Guideline
Environment Protection Policies
Environment Protection Policies help to explain and apply the Environment Protection Act 1997 and the Environment Protection Regulation 2005. The following policies provide information relating to particular areas of environment protection.
- General Environment Protection Policy
- Contaminated Sites
- Hazardous Materials
- Motor Sport Noise
- Outdoor Concert Noise
- Water quality
Water Resources Act 2007
The Water Resources Act 2007 controls how we can use water directly from water bodies including surface water and ground water in the ACT. All water use from Territory water bodies including streams, dams or groundwater is controlled by the Act. This includes the allocation of water and the licensing of use; licensing of drillers; and licenses for the construction of bores and waterway works (including farm dams and weirs).
While the& Water Resources Act applies to water that ACTEW takes from rivers and streams, it does not apply to the use of water by ACTEW's mains supply customers, water collected in rainwater tanks, or the on-site use of wastewater.
- Water Resources Act 2007
- Water Resources Regulation 2007
- Magistrates Court (Water Resources Infringement Notices) Regulation 2007
- Water Resources (Amounts of water reasonable for use guidelines) Determination 2007
- Water Resources (Fees) Determination
- Water Resources (Water available from areas) Determination 2007
- Water Resources (Water Management areas) Determination 2007
- Water Resources Environmental Flow Guidelines 2013
- Water Resources (Driller's Licence) Notice 2008
- Water Resources (Environment Protection Authority) Delegation 2011
- Water Resources compliance and enforcement
- Environmental Flows
- Lakes Act 1976 (The Lakes Amendment Bill 2017 was approved by the Legislative Assembly on 22 February 2018. The bill makes changes to the Lakes Act to encourage safer boat use and to make the rules consistent with NSW.)
National Environment Protection Measures (NEPMs)
The National Environment Protection Council (NEPC) comprises one minister from each participating jurisdiction (the Commonwealth, States and Territories). Complementary legislation in each jurisdiction establishes NEPC and gives it the power to make National Environment Protection Measures (NEPMs).
NEPMs are designed to provide equivalent protection from pollution to all Australians and to ensure that decisions by businesses are not distorted and markets are not fragmented by variations in environmental standards between jurisdictions. The decision to develop a NEPM is advertised nationally and members of the public are invited to register an interest in the NEPM. Draft NEPMs are released for public comment before being finalised for consideration by NEPC. If approved by NEPC, the NEPM is tabled in the Commonwealth Parliament and, if passed, it becomes law in participating jurisdictions.
The ACT Environment Protection Authority implements the following NEPMs:
- Ambient Air Quality NEPM
- Movement of Controlled Waste
- Assessment of Site Contamination NEPM
- National Pollutant Inventory
Air Quality Monitoring
The ACT Government monitors air quality in order to ensure that the health and wellbeing of Canberrans is maintained. Monitoring provides information on the concentration of pollutants in the air.