Lodging your environmental authority application
Use our forms and fees finder for information on applying for a new environmental authority (EA) or managing your existing EAs.
Register as a suitable operator
An EA cannot be approved unless you are a registered suitable operator. To check if you are already a registered suitable operator, or to obtain your registration number, refer to the online register of suitable operators.
If you are not a registered suitable operator, you must become one before applying for your EA.
You can apply to become a registered suitable operator by:
- completing an application through Online Services
- requesting the form Application to be a registered suitable operator (ESR/2015/1771), available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 1300 130 372 (and selecting option 4). Submit the form to the Department of Environment and Science (DES) using the postal details supplied in the form. This application form can be submitted with your EA application.
To find the correct application form for your EA, you need to know the following:
- administering authority for your activity
- type of application (i.e. standard, variation or site-specific).
Where local government is your administering authority, contact the relevant local government for the relevant form and details of where and how to lodge your application.
If DES is your administering authority, you can apply by:
- completing an application through Online Services. View the EA application video for more information about moving online with Online Services
- requesting the standard, variation or site-specific EA application forms by emailing email@example.com or phoning 1300 130 372 (and selecting option 4).
If the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) is your administering authority, you can request a standard, variation or site-specific EA application form by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 13 25 23.
EA application – resource activities
Contact the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) for more information about applying for a resource permit.
To apply for an EA for a mining activity, you can:
- complete an application through Online Services
- complete a standard, variation or site-specific application for mining activities and submit the relevant form below:
- Standard application for a new environmental authority for a resource activity (ESR/2015/1755) (DOCX, 148KB)
- Variation application for a new environmental authority for a resource activity (ESR/2015/1756) (DOCX, 228KB)
- Site-specific application for a new environmental authority for a resource activity (ESR/2015/1757) (DOCX, 264KB).
Read more about mining resource activities.
Non-mining resource activities
To apply for an EA for a non-mining resource activity, you must have first applied for either a:
- petroleum tenure or licence
- geothermal tenure
- greenhouse gas storage tenure.
You must lodge your EA application for a non-mining resource activity directly with DES once you have received your tenure application acknowledgement letter from DNRME.
To apply, you can:
- complete an application through Online Services
- request a standard, variation or site-specific application form by emailing email@example.com or phoning 1300 130 372 (and selecting option 4).
Read more about non-mining resource activities.
EA application – prescribed ERAs
Prescribed ERAs that require concurrence development assessment by the state
Some prescribed ERAs may require a development permit for a material change of use. These ERAs are identified in schedule 2 of the Environmental Protection Regulation 2019 and are known as concurrence ERAs. These ERAs are identified in column 3 of schedule 2 with a capital 'C'.
Where a concurrence ERA is a material change of use, a development application is referred to the state for assessment under State code 22: Environmentally Relevant Activities (PDF, 282KB) and the guideline (PDF, 439KB).
Refer to the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning (DSDMIP) for more detail on how to prepare and lodge development applications.
A development application for a concurrence ERA is also an application for an EA and the assessment will be integrated during lodgement and assessment stages. At decision stage, the EA will be issued within 5 days of the issue of the development assessment's decision notice.
The State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) is the point of contact for development applications involving assessment by the state. For information on how to organise a pre-lodgement meeting, contact your local DSDMIP office.
The Department of Environment and Science (DES) is the point of contact for environmental authorities for the ERAs administered by DES. For further information on how to organise a prelodgement meeting for an EA, email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68), or download the form Application for a pre-design/pre-lodgement application form (ESR/2015/1664) (formerly EM1125) (DOCX, 183KB).
Prescribed ERAs which do not require a concurrence assessment by the state
Some prescribed ERAs are not subject to concurrence assessment by the state.
Common examples are prescribed ERAs which:
- are not identified in column 3 of schedule 2 of the Environmental Protection Regulation with a capital 'C'
- are mobile or temporary operations
- the concurrence ERA will be carried out under an existing EA for an ERA for the premises, where the existing ERA has a higher Aggregate Environmental Score (AES) in the Environmental Protection Regulation
- are devolved to local government for both development assessment and EA.
These proposals may still require development assessment if triggered by the relevant local planning scheme, or other parts of Schedule 10 of the Planning Regulation 2017.
In these instances, the development application must be lodged with the assessment agency (usually with the local government but sometimes other agencies such as a port authority (for development on strategic port land) or the state if the development is not assessable against the local government planning scheme) at the same time, or before the environmental authority application is lodged.
The EA can be approved prior to the development permit but will not take effect until the development permit has taken effect.
It is an offence to carry out an EA for an ERA if the EA has not taken effect. Incorrectly claiming that a development permit has been issued or is not required, may result in prosecution for operating without an EA and for providing false or misleading information.
'Properly made' applications for an EA
You must address the mandatory information requirements in section 125 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (as well as section 126 for site-specific coal seam gas activities and section 126A for particular resource projects and activities). Where an application does not meet these requirements, it will not be 'properly made' and will be returned to you without assessment.
There are important aspects of the mandatory application requirements. These relate to assessing and detailing any potential environmental impacts, and proposing measures to avoid, minimise or manage them. Refer to the technical information requirements for an EA application. The application form provides prompts for applicants to address these matters. Where an application does not meet these requirements, the administering authority will write to you to:
- explain why and in what ways they consider your application to be deficient
- explain what action you should take to address these matters
- inform how long you have to do these things.
If you do not respond sufficiently to this notice then your application will lapse and be returned to you without assessment.
For an EA application where DES is the administering authority
When DES is your administering authority, your application for an EA will be assessed in line with the DES Regulatory Strategy.
- Find out how to lodge a development application.
- Find out about lodging a development application to SARA online (search for 'MyDAS2').
- Find out how to comply with an EA.
- Learn how to how to change, combine or transfer an EA.
- Find out how to surrender or suspend an EA.
- Read the guideline on Approval processes for environmental authorities (ESR/2015/1743) (PDF, 884KB) for more details on EA assessment processes.