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Eligibility criteria and standard conditions

Under the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1994, the administering authority (the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection) may approve eligibility criteria and standard conditions for an environmentally relevant activity (ERA). 

Prior to 31 March 2013, the Minister had approved codes of environmental compliance (codes). These codes are now known as eligibility criteria and standard conditions. The eligibility criteria and standard conditions of these codes are taken to be eligibility criteria and standard conditions for the ERA until any new eligibility criteria and standard conditions take effect.

Any new operation commencing from 31 March 2013 that meets the eligibility criteria for an activity and all of the standard conditions, can make a standard application for an environmental authority (EA) to carry out this activity. The conditions that apply to the EA will be the standard conditions.

Where the operation cannot meet all the standard conditions, a variation application for an EA can be made. The EA will include the standard conditions as modified by any approved variations.

If the eligibility criteria cannot be met, then a site-specific application for an EA can be made.

Anyone holding a registration certificate to operate under a code before 31 March 2013 is automatically taken to have an EA for the ERA. The registration certificate becomes an EA and the standard environmental conditions of the code will become the standard conditions of the EA. The anniversary day of the EA is the anniversary day of the registration certificate.

Eligibility criteria and standard conditions have been developed for the following activities:

Public consultation—draft ERA standards (including eligibility criteria and standard conditions) for certain prescribed ERAs

Due to the Environmental Offsets Act 2014 and updates to other legislation the department has amended 20 ERA standards, and is now seeking comments on the draft amendments until midnight 3 June 2016. All applications should use the submission template (Word, 91K)* for relevant comments, and be sent via email or post as per below details.

Email: 

Mail: Industry Sector Regulation and Support
        Environmental Services and Regulation
        Department of Environment and Heritage Protection
        GPO Box 2454
        Brisbane QLD 4001

After public consultation, the chief executive of the department will then decide whether to make an ERA standard for each activity.

20 ERA standards—draft amendments 

Summary of changes

Changes for 19 of the ERA standards:

  • A new eligibility criterion that:
    • The activity will not cause a significant residual impact on a prescribed environmental matter.
  • New definitions for:
    • Prescribed environmental matter—as defined in section 10 of the Environmental Offsets Act 2014 and described in section 5 and Schedule 2 of the Environmental Offsets Regulation 2014.
    • Significant residual impact—as defined in Section 8 of the Environmental Offsets Act 2014 and detailed in the State Significant Impact Guideline.
  • Various updates to Appendix 2: General obligations for environmental authority holders. These updates are being made for clarity or because of changes to the legislation.

The 19 ERA standards had other changes take effect on 30 September 2015. These changes were to refer to strategic environmental areas instead of various Wild Rivers terms. Under section 715C of the Environmental Protection Act 1994, these changes are minor changes that could be made without public consultation. The changes were:

  • Under Activity location, replaced the eligibility criterion:
    • The activity is not carried out in a high preservation, special floodplain management area or floodplain management area in any declared wild river area. with:
    • The activity is not carried out in a strategic environmental area (SEA), as defined in the Regional Planning Interests Regulation 2014 or regional plan.
  • New definition for:
    • Strategic environmental area—as defined in section 10 of the Environmental Offsets Act 2014 and described in the Regional Planning Interests Regulation 2014 or regional plan.
  • Addition of a version history.

Changes for the ERA standard for sewage pump stations

This ERA standard makes minor updates to the eligibility criteria and standard conditions from the previous code of environmental compliance that transitioned to an ERA standard, including:

  • A new eligibility criterion that:
    • The activity will not cause a significant residual impact on a prescribed environmental matter.
  • New definitions for:
    • Prescribed environmental matter—as defined in section 10 of the Environmental Offsets Act 2014 and described in section 5 and Schedule 2 of the Environmental Offsets Regulation 2014.
    • Significant residual impact—as defined in Section 8 of the Environmental Offsets Act 2014 and detailed in the State Significant Impact Guideline.
  • Updating the ERA reference from ERA 63(3) to ERA 63(2)
  • Updating the section numbers for the duty to notify in condition 15

The definitions from the original code of environmental compliance have been used with updates such as:

  • replacing references to the previous licensing system with references to the current licensing system (e.g. referring to “environmental authority” instead of “registration certificate” or “code of environmental compliance” in the definition of “approval” and “operator”)
  • using the current ERA standard template, including the general information and version history on the first page and Appendix 2: General obligations for environmental authority holders.

Further information

For further information on the consultation contact the department on via email

Public consultation – draft ERA standard for ERA 57 – regulated waste transport

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (the department) regulates environmentally relevant activity (ERA) 57 – Regulated waste transport. This activity is currently subject to eligibility criteria and standard conditions that are contained within the existing code of environmental compliance for certain aspects of regulated waste transport – version 4 (ERA 57) (the code). The eligibility criteria and standard conditions of the code remain current until new eligibility criteria and standard conditions take effect.

The department has reviewed the code and developed a new ERA standard containing eligibility criteria and standard conditions for ERA 57. The eligibility criteria and standard conditions of the new ERA standard are based on the requirements in the existing code, but the conditions have been streamlined considerably to align with the department’s regulatory strategy.

The new ERA standard is not proposed to be applied retrospectively.

The draft ERA standard is below and will be open for comment until 28 June 2016. The code has been provided below to allow comparison between existing regulatory requirements and those proposed under the new ERA Standard.

The department will consider all written representations made during the consultation period. The department expects to finalise the new ERA standard before the end of the year. Once the ERA standard has been finalised, the department will publish a copy on the Business and Industry Portal and will produce a consultation report. It is important to note that the new standard will not take effect until it is proclaimed in regulation.

All representations should be made using the submissions template (Word, 91K)*, and be sent via email or post as per below details.

Email: 

Mail: Industry Sector Regulation and Support
        Environmental Services and Regulation
        Department of Environment and Heritage Protection
        GPO Box 2454
        Brisbane QLD 4001

Existing code of environmental compliance and new draft ERA standard

* Requires Microsoft Office files viewer

Last updated
19 May 2016