An Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) requires approval from either Council or the Queensland Government. This is because it has the potential to damage or pollute the environment (air, land, water and noise).
The Department of Environment and Science and other State government agencies regulate higher risk activities. Local councils regulate activities with only localised pollution potential.
Is approval to operate an ERA required?
You need an environmental authority from Council to 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 5 tonnes or more of foam, composite plastics or rigid fibre-reinforced plastics per year
- ERA 19 Metal forming
- ERA 38 Surface coating (anodising, electroplating, enamelling or galvanising using 1 to 100 tonnes of surface coating materials in a year
- ERA 49 Boat maintenance or repair
- ERA 61 Waste incineration and thermal treatment.
Find a full list of ERAs, including those regulated by the Queensland Government, in Schedule 2 of the Environmental Protection Regulation 2019.
The ERAs listed above are all 'concurrence ERAs'.
Term of authority
Environmental authorities do not require renewal. Once issued, the authority remains current unless it is cancelled, surrendered, or suspended.
Complying with regulations
It is the responsibility of you and your staff to ensure compliance with all requirements of the relevant legislation.
How to apply
You must be a registered suitable operator for an environmental authority to be issued. See the Department of Environment and Science website for information on how to check if you are listed as a suitable operator, find your registration number, or apply for registration.
New ERAs are assessable development. Such activities trigger a material change of use for the ERA under the Planning Act 2016 for fixed location activities.
Submit the following Queensland Government forms to apply for an environmental authority for an ERA in a fixed location:
- DA Form 1
- DA Form 1 environmental authority application (find the link to this application in the above State government DA Form 1)
Mobile and temporary premises
Use one of the options below to apply for a mobile or temporary premises ERA.
Transfer of environmental authority
An environmental authority is transferrable.
Before 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.
Complete a Transfer of environmental authority application form(PDF, 204KB)
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 Science.
Amend an environmental authority
Use the amend an environmental authority form to:
- change your business or contact information
- make operational amendments or change the intensity/scale of your business.
Complete an Environmental authority amendment application form(PDF, 208KB)
Depending on the type of amendment, additional supporting information may be required to be submitted.
Replace approval documentation
To apply for replacement approval documentation for your permit or licence use the Replace approval documentation form form.
Fees may apply for the above request and are detailed on the application form.
Surrender an environmental authority
Use this form to apply to surrender your environmental authority if:
- your business has ceased operating, relocated or changed ownership
- the activity has changed, and environmental authority is no longer required.
Environmental authority surrender application(PDF, 193KB)
Transitional Environmental Programs
Use this form to submit a transitional environmental program (TEP) for an environmentally relevant activity.
Transitional environmental program(PDF, 181KB)
Use this form to apply to amend your transitional environmental program.
Amend environmental authority(PDF, 208KB)