Pollution Incident Response & the new Environment Protection Act in Victoria

Effective environmental incident response is critical for all organisations. Whether arising from fire, a classic pollution incident such as a leak or spill, or an unauthorised emission, there are high penalties for failures to notify environmental regulators of pollution incidents and licence breaches.

The regime is fragmented nationally, with each state and territory having its own regime governing what to report, when to report, and who to report to.

On 1 July 2020, Victoria joins all the other states and territories in implementing mandatory pollution incident notification.

As soon as the Regulations come out in late July 2019, it will be necessary for all organisations either to update their plans or to prepare for the first time, specific pollution incident management plans covering Victoria. Victoria’s new laws set a reasonably low threshold for notifiable incident reporting and require reporting as soon as practicable.

If you would like assistance developing or updating your pollution/environmental response plan, please contact me. I offer fixed fee briefings on the new Environment Protection Act requirements and can offer fixed fee legal advice on pollution incident notification preparedness.

In the meantime, here is a copy of my presentation to the Australian Environment Business Network on 7 July 2019, which includes a review of current legal requirements in several jurisdictions. Click on the image to download. Happy reading!

This presentation and Environment Express bulletins are intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. Whilst attempts have been made to ensure that the content is current, Guthrie Legal does not guarantee its currency. You should always seek legal or other professional advice on specific cases and before acting or relying on any of the content.