Applying for an environmental authority

Use our forms and fees finder for information on applying for a new environmental authority (EA) or managing your existing EAs.

The Environmental Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 commenced on 20 August 2020. The Department's forms, guidance materials and web pages are currently being updated to reflect the changes to legislation.

Read more information about the changes on the Queensland Parliament website.

In Queensland, you need to apply for an environmental authority (EA) to perform an environmentally relevant activity (ERA).

ERAs are activities with the potential to release contaminants into the environment that will or may cause environmental harm. They include a wide range of activities such as aquaculture, sewage treatment, cattle feedlotting, mining and coal seam gas extraction.

There are 3 categories of ERAs—agricultural ERAs, resource ERAs and prescribed ERAs.

Agricultural ERAs are specifically described as cattle grazing, horticulture, or the cultivation of another crop (e.g. bananas, grains or sugarcane) carried out in the Great Barrier Reef catchment. New requirements for ERAs are rolling out from 1 December 2019 to 1 December 2022.

Mining, geothermal activity, greenhouse gas storage, and petroleum activities are considered resource ERAs. Other activities including certain aquaculture, sewage treatment, intensive animal feedlotting, developing land for intensive cropping, energy-related services, extractive industries, metal fabrication, food processing, metal production and other types of industrial manufacturing activities are considered prescribed ERAs.

EAs are administered by a range of Queensland Government and local government agencies. The agency that administers an EA is called the administering authority.

This guide explains how to apply for an EA in Queensland.