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When is a Works Approval proces required and how EPA assesses applications?

Works approvals are issued by EPA Victoria under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (‘the Act’). They are required for industrial and waste management activities that have the potential for significant environmental impact.

A works approval permits plant and equipment to be installed, the operation of which will result in one or more of:

- the discharge of waste to the environment;

- an increase in, or alteration to, an existing discharge;

- a change in the way waste is treated or stored.

 EPA’s works approval process is designed to ensure the best and most cost-effective environmental outcomes on projects are achieved. Without works approvals there is an increased risk of industrial projects causing pollution issues and requiring expensive retrofitting. Works approvals are an opportunity to save energy and water and to reduce waste at the project design stage, creating value for a business.


EPA licences aim to control the operation of scheduled premises so that there is no adverse impact on the environment. An EPA licence is required for all scheduled premises, unless the premises are exempted in the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises and Exemptions) Regulations 2007.

A licence may be held by a legal entity:

- a person

- a company

- a statutory corporation

- a municipal council.

Licences contain standard conditions that aim to control the operation of the premises so that there is no adverse effect on the environment. These conditions address areas such as waste acceptance and treatment, air and water discharges, and noise and odour.

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