Environmental impact assessment

The OEPA provides support to the EPA and Minister for Environment under Part IV of the EP Act for a range of functions related to environmental impact assessment including:

  • assessment of significant proposals (section 40)
  • assessment of significant schemes (section 48C)
  • changes to proposals after assessment (section 45C)
  • amendment of implementation conditions by inquiry (section 46)
  • minor changes to implementation conditions (section 46C)
  • change of Nominated Proponent (sections 38(6) and 38(7)).

The OEPA is also directly responsible for the review and approval of Environmental Management Plans required as a condition of a Ministerial Statement, and for monitoring and auditing compliance with conditions under section 48.

Changes to proposals – Section 45C

Changes to proposals may be approved by the EPA Chairman (as the Minister for Environment’s delegate) under s45C of the EP Act. Changes to proposals may not be approved if it is considered they might have a significant detrimental effect on the environment in addition to, or different from, the original proposal.

Amendment of implementation conditions – Section 46

Under s46 of the EP Act the Minister may request the EPA to inquire into and report on the matter of changing implementation conditions relating to proposals. A common reason for a requested change to conditions is to extend the time limit for proposal implementation. Proponents may also seek to consolidate implementation conditions across a number of Ministerial Statements, where this reduces duplication, contemporises conditions, and streamlines reporting and compliance.

Minor changes to Implementation Conditions – Section 46C

The Minister may change the implementation conditions if the Minister considers the changes are of a minor nature and necessary or desirable in order to standardise conditions relating to different proposals.