Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Environment protection licences

Licensing under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997

The Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) establishes the NSW environmental regulatory framework and includes a licensing requirement for certain activities.

Environment protection licences are a central means to control the localised, cumulative and acute impacts of pollution in NSW. In particular they aim to:

  • protect, restore and enhance the quality of the environment in NSW, having regard to the need to maintain ecologically sustainable development
  • provide increased opportunities for public involvement and participation in environment protection
  • ensure that the community has access to relevant and meaningful information about pollution
  • rationalise, simplify and strengthen the regulatory framework for environment protection
  • improve the efficiency of administration of the environment protection legislation
  • reduce risks to human health and prevent the degradation of the environment by the use of mechanisms that promote the following:
    • pollution prevention and cleaner production
    • the reduction to harmless levels of the discharge of substances likely to cause harm to the environment
    • the reduction in the use of materials and the re-use or recycling of materials
    • the making of progressive environmental improvements, including the reduction of pollution at source
    • the monitoring and reporting of environmental quality on a regular basis.

The POEO Act contains a list of activities that require an environment protection licence. These are listed in Schedule 1 of the POEO Act.

eConnect EPA is the Environment Protection Authority's (EPA) online licensing tool.
Go to eConnect EPA to start an application for a licence.

More information on licensing and help in determining whether you require a licence can be found in the Guide to licensing.

For more information on other environmental legislation and licensing requirements, see other environmental legislation.

Page last updated: 16 May 2016