An ERA is an activity with the potential to release contaminants into the environment. Environmental nuisance can include (among others):
- Water contamination – eg. if contaminants (such as chemicals, waste oils, industrial wastes, etc) are released into creeks, water courses, roadside gutters or stormwater drainage.
Schedule 2 of the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 sets out prescribed ERAs.
Business owners can review this schedule to ascertain if their business activity is described in the schedule, and if it is, whether any thresholds apply.
If the business activity is listed in the schedule but is below the relevant threshold then it is not an ERA and does not require an EA. However, if the business activity is above the threshold and the business owner intends to conduct an ERA, they must apply for an EA.
There are 3 types of EA applications, depending on whether the business owner can meet the relevant eligibility criteria and standard conditions for the activity:
- standard application - if the ERA can meet the eligibility criteria and you comply with the standard conditions;
- variation application - if the ERA can meet the eligibility criteria, but you want to vary one or more of the standard conditions;
- site-specific application - if the ERA does not have eligibility criteria or cannot meet the eligibility criteria.
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) handle ERA Applications: - https://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/
In addition, there may be environmental conditions in the development approval granted to the Land owner when the building/premises were originally built which could affect the use of the Land or building/premises. Appropriate due diligence should be undertaken in relation to the existence of such conditions of use.
If you believe you need an EA you should seek appropriate advice.
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The material provided in this document is for general information only and is not to be relied upon as advice. No responsibility is accepted for any loss, damage or injury, financial or otherwise, suffered by any person or organisation acting or relying on this information or anything omitted from it.
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