Converting EHC licences to environment protection licences

Current EHC licences issued under the former Environmentally Hazardous Chemicals Act 1985 (EHC Act) have been converted to environment protection licences under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act).

These are known as 'converted licences'.

Converted licence holders are able to continue carrying on the same activities under the same conditions in the EHC licence.

All converted licence holders are required to prepare a Pollution Incident Response Management Plan (PIRMP) that complies with Part 5.7A of the POEO Act in relation to the activities under the converted licence within 3 months of the reforms to the POEO Act commencing on 25 March 2024. See Changes to the regulation of industrial chemicals.

A converted licence remains in force until the expiry date specified in the EHC licence. Before this time, the EPA will contact a converted licence holder about applying for a new environment protection licence, or varying an existing environment protection licence, if they have one, to continue carrying on activities regulated by the relevant chemical control order.

Converted licences can be found on the POEO Public Register under ‘Notices’.

Frequently asked questions

EHC licensees who also hold an environment protection licence have had their EHC licence conditions carried over to that environment protection licence.

This removes the need to hold two separate licences under the EHC Act and POEO Act.  

Converted licence holders are not required to pay annual licence fees while the converted licence remains in force.

Once the converted licence period ends, licensees will need to apply for an environment protection licence to continue carrying on activities regulated by the relevant chemical control order. The POEO Act framework for licensing fees will apply. Refer New scheduled activities for environmentally hazardous chemicals.