Environmental Management Calculation Protocol

The Environmental Management Calculation Protocol (PDF 583KB) sets out the matters and methods the EPA uses to determine the environmental management category allocated to holders of licences issued under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

Environmental management category

The environmental management category is informed by the environmental management performance of the licensee.

The EPA will take into account

  • a licensee's environmental performance based on their compliance history and regulatory actions the EPA has taken to respond to any incidents and non-compliances
  • environmental management systems and practices the licensee has in place to control and mitigate environmental risks associated with their licensed activities
  • environmental improvement programs initiated by the licensee

The trend in EPA regulatory actions and a licensee's performance over a three-year period is also considered in the determination of the environmental management category.

Based on this assessment, each licensee is allocated an environmental management category of either A, B, C, D or E.

Effective from 1 July 2016, the EPA has removed Environmental Improvement Works (EIWs) from the Environmental Management Calculation Protocol. The removal follows an audit of all works reported by licensees in their annual return, which found that approximately 90% of the reported works did not meet the EIW criteria.

This change has been made to ensure ongoing consistency across all licensees in the recognition of environmental improvements and that the integrity of the risk-based licensing system is maintained.

Licensees can still receive recognition for environmental improvements that they have initiated at the premises via environmental improvement programs. For more information on environmental improvement programs refer the Environmental Management Calculation Protocol or contact your local EPA office.

Environment protection licence administrative fees

Licence administrative fees are calculated based on the type of activities being undertaken (fee-based activities), the scale of these activities, and the licensee's environmental management category.

Each environmental management category corresponds with an environmental management factor. These are listed in clause 10 of the Protection of the Environment (General) Regulation 2009. The environmental management factor acts as a multiplier to the administrative fee, resulting in a decrease, increase or no change to the licence administrative fee.

Environmental management categories and corresponding environmental management factors

Environmental management category Environmental management factor
A 0.95
B 1
C 1.3
D 1.6
E 2

Licensees who perform well and minimise their environmental risk are rewarded with a reduction of administrative fees. Whereas poor performing licensees pay licence fees that provide an incentive to improve their performance.

Environment Management Systems Guidelines

The Environmental Management systems guidelines (PDF 177KB) have been developed to assist holders of environment protection licences to answer questions relating to environmental management systems in the annual return for their licence. This guidance document should be read in conjunction with the Environmental Management Calculation Protocol.

The Guidelines were recently updated to provide further guidance for licensees who have a certified Environmental Management System (EMS) and to improve guidance for licensees who do not have a certified EMS but have EMS practices in place. The changes to the guidelines clarify the evidence and information the EPA expects a licensee to hold (and make available to the EPA when asked) where a certified EMS or EMS practices are being claimed under the risk-based licensing system.

It is important to note that it is an offence to supply any information to the EPA in the Annual Return that is false or misleading in a material respect, or to certify a statement that is false or misleading in a material respect. There is a maximum penalty of $250,000 for a corporation or $120,000 for an individual.    

Further information
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