Combine or amalgamate environmental authorities

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

If you hold a number of environmental authorities (EAs), you may apply to combine your separate EAs into one amalgamated EA provided:

  • they are all held by the same legal entity, or the same multiple entities; and
  • they all have the same administering authority.

For example, it is not possible to amalgamate:

  • an EA issued to John Smith with an EA issued to Jane Smith
  • a number of EAs issued to partnerships where the partners are different for each EA (even if one partner is the same for all the EAs)
  • an EA administered by the Department of Environment and Science (DES) and another administered by a local government
  • an EA administered by Brisbane City Council with an EA administered by Moreton Bay Regional Council.

It is not possible to apply for an amalgamated EA when one of the EAs has not taken effect. That is, you cannot apply for an amalgamated EA at the same time you are applying for an EA for activities that will be part of the amalgamated EA. First you have to obtain the EA and then you can apply separately to amalgamate the EAs.

Application for amalgamated EAs

If DES is your administering authority, you can apply to amalgamate your EAs by completing the correct amalgamation application, indicating the type of amalgamated EA you are applying for.

There are 3 types of amalgamated EAs (see below for more information):

  1. amalgamated corporate authority
  2. amalgamated project authority
  3. amalgamated local government authority.

You must pay an application fee of $346.60 to amalgamate EAs. Amalgamated corporate authorities may also require a pro-rata annual fee to be paid to align the existing EA anniversary dates to the new anniversary day.

If your administering authority decides to approve your application for an amalgamated authority, they will amalgamate your existing EAs, and issue you with the new amalgamated authority. Once issued, an amalgamated authority becomes an EA that you can transfer, amend or suspend like any other EA.

If your circumstances change, and an amalgamated EA is no longer required, please contact your administering authority. You may be able to amend, transfer or surrender all or part of your activity.

Amalgamated corporate authority

If you hold EAs across multiple sites, you may apply for an amalgamated corporate authority that combines all your authorities into a single EA. EAs that are combined into an amalgamated corporate authority do not have to be carried out as a single integrated operation, and may be in different locations.

As the holder of an amalgamated corporate authority you will have a single date for reporting and payment of fees, and hold an EA with the operating conditions across your multiple sites. Having an amalgamated corporate authority will not change the annual fees of the activities you carry out. You will still be required to pay an annual fee that is the sum of the fees for all the original EAs that were amalgamated.

Apply for an amalgamated corporate authority

If DES is your administering authority, you can apply for an amalgamated corporate authority by completing the amalgamated corporate authority application (ESR/2015/1734) (DOC, 339KB) and submitting it to DES. Once approved, an EA will be issued to you containing all the conditions from your previous EAs.

Unless all the EAs to be amalgamated already have the same anniversary day, you will need to nominate a new anniversary day. Your annual fee will need to be adjusted to account for the time period between your current anniversary dates and your new anniversary day for each project site. For help calculating the adjustment amount, refer to the fee calculator (ESR/2015/1731) (XLSX, 64KB).

If you also wish to change some of the conditions of one or more of the separate EAs, then you must also make an amendment application. Each process will run separately, and will follow the applicable time frames.

Amalgamated project authority

An amalgamated project authority applies to a project involving one or more EAs where the activities can be carried out as a single integrated operation. Your activities can be carried out as a single integrated operation if they are:

  • carried out under the day-to-day management of a single responsible individual (e.g. a site or operations manager)
  • operationally interrelated
  • carried out at one or more places which are separated by distances short enough to allow feasible integrated day-to-day management of the activities.

Apply for an amalgamated project authority

If DES is your administering authority, you can apply for an amalgamated project authority by completing the amalgamated project or local government authority - application to amalgamate 2 or more environmental authorities (ESR/2015/1735) (DOC, 178KB) and submitting it to DES for all your EAs you want to amalgamate.

If approved, your amalgamated EA will be issued to you containing all conditions from your previous EAs. Your annual fee will be a single fee equivalent to the highest annual fee you currently pay and you will have one annual reporting requirement.

Your new anniversary day will be the same as the anniversary day of your previous EA that had the highest annual fee. However, if you are applying to amalgamate 2 or more EAs where the annual fee for each EA is the same, your new anniversary day will align with that anniversary day which was furthest into the future. For example, if EA 1 and EA 2 had the same annual fee, but EA 1 had an anniversary day of 15 June and EA 2 had an anniversary day of 18 August, then the new anniversary day for the amalgamated authority will be 18 August.

Amalgamated local government authority

Local governments may amalgamate their EAs provided:

  • the activities to be amalgamated do not constitute a significant business activity; that is, the activity is not conducted in competition with the private sector (e.g. a quarry selling to the public)
  • the activities have an appropriate degree of integration.

Apply for an amalgamated local government authority

To apply for an amalgamated local government authority, complete the amalgamated project or local government authority - application to amalgamate 2 or more environmental authorities and submit it to the administering authority for all your EAs. If approved, your amalgamated EA will be issued to you containing all conditions from your previous EAs.

Your annual fee will be a single fee equivalent to the highest EA fee you currently pay and you will have one annual reporting requirement.

Your new anniversary day will be the same as the anniversary day of your previous EA that had the highest annual fee. However, if you are applying to amalgamate 2 or more EAs where the annual fee for each EA is the same, your new anniversary day will align with that anniversary day which was furthest into the future. For example, if EA 1 and EA 2 had the same annual fee, but EA 1 had an anniversary day of 15 June and EA 2 had an anniversary day of 18 August, then the new anniversary day for the amalgamated authority will be 18 August.

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