Environmentally Relevant Activities
Environmentally Relevant Activities (ERAs) are activities that will, or have the potential to, release contaminants into the environment that may damage or pollute the environment, including noise, air, water or land and cause environmental harm. It is a requirement of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) and the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 (EP Reg) that anyone who conducts an ERA must possess an environmental authority.
The Department of Environment and Science (DES) and other state government agencies regulate higher risk activities whilst local councils regulate activities with only localised environmental pollution potential.
All businesses, regardless of requirements to hold an Environmental Authority, still have a General Environmental Duty outlined in Section 319 of the EP Act, to protect Queensland's environment while allowing for ecologically sustainable development. It also requires council to monitor the standard of operations in devolved ERAs.
ERAs devolved to Council
There are currently 5 ERAs devolved to local government to licence. They are listed in the EP Reg, clause 101.
A full list of all ERAs that require an Environmental Authority can be found in Schedule 2 of the EP Reg – they are categorised based on their potential risk to the environment.
If the activity relevant to your business is not included in the above list, you may still require an Environmental Authority from DES. If your ERA is not devolved to Council, contact DES. It is the ERA operator’s responsibility to obtain this registration from DES.
Making an application
Before starting a business operation, ensure you have contacted Council to determine if a Development Approval is required in addition to an Environmental Authority.
A Development Approval is required before the ERA Suitable Operators Registration Certificate can be issued.
This will be assessed under the Planning Act 2016 and the council’s planning scheme. It is the ERA operators’ responsibility to obtain this approval with the property owner's consent. Plans may also be required for development approval.
Once a Development Approval has been given for the activity on the proposed site and the business is close to commencing operation, a Registration Suitable Operator for Environmentally Relevant Activity Application is to be lodged together with the relevant fee.
This registration is assessed under the EP Act.
The Registration Certificate is required to be renewed each year, Council issues a renewal notice prior to 30 June each year.
Buying an existing business
Council recommends prospective purchasers of Council registered ERAs, apply for a Health Inspection, fees apply, prior to settlement. This allows an Environmental Health Officer to inspect the premises to identify any potential issues. The current approval holder is also required to approve the application.
Transfer of Approval
When there is a change in the operator, an application may be made to transfer the registration certificate to the new operator, fees apply. Please use the Registration - Suitable Operator application form.
Contact Council's Customer Service Centre
Please contact the Customer Service team by phone on (07) 4783 9800 or email by clicking on the Contact Us button below. Our normal office hours are Monday to Friday 8:00AM to 5:00PM not including public holidays.Contact Us