Types of applications for a new environmental authority

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

  • In Queensland, the EA application process has different levels of assessment according to the level of potential environmental risk. For example, a low-risk environmentally relevant activity (ERA), such as the operation of a sewage pumping station, does not require the same level of assessment as the operation of a large mine.

ERA standards have been developed for low risk activities. An ERA standard includes eligibility criteria and standard conditions.

There are 3 types of EA applications you can make, depending on whether you can meet the relevant eligibility criteria and standard conditions for your activity:

  • standard application - if your ERA can meet the eligibility criteria and comply with the standard conditions
  • variation application - if your ERA can meet the eligibility criteria, but you want to vary one or more of the standard conditions
  • site-specific application - if your ERA does not have eligibility criteria or cannot meet the eligibility criteria.
TermDefinition
Eligible ERA An eligible ERA is an ERA that complies with eligibility criteria for the activity, and is not part of a project declared to be a coordinated project under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971.
Eligibility criteria Eligibility criteria are criteria used to assess whether or not you can make a standard application. For example, eligibility criteria may define where an activity can be located, or the type of materials it can process.
Standard conditions Standard conditions are the conditions that will apply to the operation of the activity in your EA if you were able to meet the eligibility criteria for that activity and make a standard application.

Details of application types

Standard application

You may lodge a standard application if your proposed ERA can meet both the eligibility criteria and standard conditions for the activity.

If you can meet the eligibility criteria for an eligible ERA, but would like to change one or more of the standard conditions to suit your operational needs, you must lodge a variation application. If you cannot meet the eligibility criteria, you must lodge a site-specific application.

Check the list of activities suitable for standard applications and their standard conditions.

Standard application for multiple ERAs

A standard application only applies to an ERA project if all the proposed ERAs meet the requirements for a standard application (i.e. each proposed ERA can meet the eligibility criteria and standard conditions for the activity).

Where there is a mix of activities that can each meet their respective eligibility criteria, but only some can meet the standard conditions, you must make a variation application for the ERA project. If one or more of the proposed ERAs have no eligibility criteria, or you cannot meet the eligibility criteria, you must make a site-specific application.

Variation application

A variation application applies when you can meet the eligibility criteria but want to change one or more of the standard conditions to suit your activities. This is similar to a standard application, but will require you to provide further information in your application relevant to the variation you are making.

You must still meet all the eligibility criteria. If the ERA you are proposing has no eligibility criteria, or you cannot meet the eligibility criteria for your ERA, you must make a site-specific application.

Site-specific application

You must make a site-specific application if you can't make a standard or variation application for your activity.

You will need to supply detailed information about the proposed activity and its potential environmental impacts. Your application will be assessed according to the level of potential environmental risk and the assessment provisions under the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

Site-specific application for multiple ERAs

You can lodge a site-specific application for multiple ERAs that are part of an ERA project (a prescribed ERA project or resource project). However, an EA application cannot combine a resource project and a prescribed ERA project.

How to apply

If the Department of Environment and Science (DES) is your administering authority, you can make a standard, variation or site-specific application for an ERA by:

Alternatively, you can make an application for an ERA by:

If the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) is your administering authority, you can make an application for an ERA by:

You can also use our forms and fees finder to find the correct form and fee for your application, your annual fee, and additional resources for completing your application.

If the administering authority is your local government, you must contact them directly for your form and the fee.

How to change an application other than a standard application

To change a variation or site-specific application before it has been decided, contact your administering authority.

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