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Environmentally Relevant Activities

An Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) is an activity that is required to be approved by either the City of Gold Coast or State Government due to its potential to damage or pollute the environment (air, land, water and noise).

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) and other state government agencies regulate higher risk activities whilst local councils regulate activities with only localised pollution potential.

Applying to operate a new ERA

Select from the drop-down headings below for more information.

Is approval to operate an ERA required?

An environmental authority from City of Gold Coast is required for businesses that conduct any of the following activities:

  • ERA 6 Asphalt manufacturing
  • ERA 12 Plastic product manufacturing (50 tonnes or more of plastic products per year, or five (5) tonnes or more of foam, composite plastics or rigid fibre-reinforced plastics per year
  • ERA 19 Metal forming
  • ERA 20 Metal recovery (less than 100 tonnes per day, or more than 100 tonnes per day or 10,000 tonnes per year)
  • ERA 38 Surface coating (anodising, electroplating, enamelling or galvanising using one (1) tonne to 100 tonnes of surface coating materials in a year
  • ERA 49 Boat maintenance or repair
  • ERA 61 Waste incineration and thermal treatment.

A full list of ERAs, including those regulated by the Queensland government, can be found in Schedule 2 of the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008.

All of the above listed environmentally relevant activities are known as concurrence environmentally relevant activities and trigger a material change of use for the environmentally relevant activity under the Planning Act 2016 for fixed location activities. A development application is therefore required to be submitted and will be used as a single application for both the development permit and environmental authority.

How to apply

Prior to submitting your application you should ensure that you have appropriate planning approval under the City Plan to conduct your activity.

Complete an application for environmental authority application form.

The following documentation may be required to be submitted with an application to operate an ERA:

  • Details of emissions or releases that may be generated by each activity and the associated environmental impacts
  • Supporting environmental reports (eg. acoustic, odour, waste management reports) – see application form for details

To avoid delays in your application, please ensure any supporting information is submitted with the completed application form.

Note: For an environmental authority to be issued, you must be a registered suitable operator. See the Department of EHP’s website for information on how to check if you are listed as a suitable operator, find your registration number or apply for registration.

Find a link to the environmental authority application forms below.

Taking over an existing activity

Select from the drop-down headings below for more information.

Researching the business

Prior to taking over an existing business you may wish to apply for a Health licence search to confirm there is a current environmental authority and to ensure the existing operator is complying with approval conditions.

Find a link to our environmental authority application forms and Search Request form below.

Transfer of environmental authority

An environmental authority is transferrable. Complete a 'Transfer of environmental authority' application form and submit at a City customer service centre. The existing environmental authority holder and the proposed new transferee are both required to sign the form. The proposed transferee must be a registered suitable operator with the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

Find a link to the environmental authority transfer application form below.

Is approval to operate an ERA required?

An environmental authority from City of Gold Coast is required for businesses that conduct any of the following activities:

  • ERA 6 Asphalt manufacturing
  • ERA 12 Plastic product manufacturing (50 tonnes or more of plastic products per year, or five (5) tonnes or more of foam, composite plastics or rigid fibre-reinforced plastics per year
  • ERA 19 Metal forming
  • ERA 20 Metal recovery (less than 100 tonnes per day, or more than 100 tonnes per day or 10,000 tonnes per year)
  • ERA 38 Surface coating (anodising, electroplating, enamelling or galvanising using one (1) tonne to 100 tonnes of surface coating materials in a year
  • ERA 49 Boat maintenance or repair
  • ERA 61 Waste incineration and thermal treatment.

A full list of ERAs, including those regulated by the Queensland government, can be found in Schedule 2 of the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008.

Information for existing businesses

Select from the drop-down headings below for more information.

Amendments to an environmental authority

For minor changes to your licence (such as change of contact details), or more complex changes (such as operational amendments, or changing the intensity or scale of your business), please complete an environmental authority amendment application form. Depending on the type of amendment, additional supporting information may be required to be submitted.

Find a link to the environmental authority amendment application form below.

ERA approval renewal

ERA approvals are renewed annually and are valid until last day February each year.

Some approvals are valid for a temporary time period only – these will not be renewed.

Lost or damaged licence – how to request a request a replacement

Find a link to the environmental authority – replacement approval documentation application form below.

Fees apply for the above request and are detailed on the application form.

How to comply

It is the responsibility of you and your staff to ensure compliance with all requirements of the relevant legislation.

Find out more about compliance requirements for ERAs.

Related information

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