Environmental authority conditions
The administering authority may impose conditions on your environmental authority (EA) in order to manage environmental risks that are associated with the activity or meet the requirements of the Environmental Protection Act 1994. Conditions may relate to the operation of the activity and any rehabilitation requirements.
When applying for an EA, you can use Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) standards, model conditions or common conditions to:
- predict the core conditions likely to be imposed on your EA
- tailor the content of your application (e.g. your business may want to propose environmental protection commitments to inform your administering authority's decisions when setting release limits).
ERA standards have been developed for lower risk ERAs suitable for the standard application process, and include eligibility criteria and standard conditions.
Learn more about activities suitable for standard applications.
The Environmental Protection Act 1994 prescribes some conditions that must be complied with by operators of certain activities. These conditions apply in addition to any conditions imposed through an EA for the activity.
Mandatory conditions are prescribed in relation to the following:
- restricted stimulation fluids for resource activities other than mining
- progressive rehabilitation and closure plan schedules
- estimated rehabilitation costs for resource activities
- replenishment of financial assurance for prescribed ERAs.
Further conditions apply to an EA where an environmental offset is required, these are called deemed conditions and they are prescribed under the Environmental Offsets Act 2014.
Mandatory conditions may also apply for specific projects that have undergone an Environmental Impact Assessment evaluation by the Coordinator-General.
Model conditions are prototype conditions that may be applied to EAs if a site-specific (or amendment) application is made. They provide guidance on the administering authority's expectations for managing risks to the environment from certain activities and help to ensure consistency across the state.
Model conditions are not mandatory. Where a condition is not relevant to the operation, it would not be placed on the EA. Additional site-specific conditions may be applied to address risks that are specific to a particular operation or site.
Despite the availability of model conditions, it is important to meet all the application requirements so the administering authority can make a decision about your application.
The following model conditions have been developed to help businesses conducting some of the more frequently undertaken activities:
- ERA 1 – aquaculture (ESR/2021/5563) (PDF, 770KB)
- ERA 16 – extraction and screening activities (ESR/2015/1666) (PDF, 187KB)
- ERA 53 – composting and soil conditioner manufacturing (ESR/2015/1665) (PDF, 242KB)
- ERA 60 – waste disposal (ESR/2015/1667) (PDF, 157KB)
- ERA 63 – sewage treatment (ESR/2015/1668) (PDF, 230KB)
- Model operating conditions (Air)—Port of Townsville—ERA 50 (1) Bulk material handling (minerals) (ESR/2019/4794) (PDF, 1MB)
- Model mining conditions (ESR/2016/1936) (PDF, 1.2MB)
- Streamlined model conditions for petroleum activities (ESR/2016/1989) (PDF, 1.4MB).
When model conditions have not been developed for an activity, the common conditions may apply.
Common conditions may apply to your EA if you make a site-specific application for a prescribed activity where model conditions have not been developed.
Common conditions may also apply if:
- you cannot meet the eligibility criteria of an ERA standard and must make a site-specific application
- you cannot fully comply with the standard conditions of an ERA standard and apply for a variation application
- the model operating conditions for your particular ERA do not adequately address an environmental risk specific to your operation or site.
Learn more about common conditions for prescribed ERAs (ESR/2015/1828) (PDF, 371KB).