Environmental authority for environmentally relevant activities - Queensland


You will require an environmental authority to undertake a prescribed environmentally relevant activity (ERA). ERAs are prescribed or resource activities with the potential to release contaminants into the environment.

  • Prescribed activities are industrial or intensive agricultural activities.
  • Resource activities include mining, petroleum, geothermal or greenhouse gas storage activities.

The administering authority will be dependent on your ERA. A business that conducts any of the following activities requires an environmental authority from this department:

  • aquaculture
  • chemical, coal and petroleum products activities (except for asphalt manufacturing and plastic product manufacturing)
  • cropping and horticulture activities
  • energy related services
  • extractive activities
  • food processing
  • metal production and mineral processing activities
  • miscellaneous activities (except for surface coating)
  • non-metallic mineral product manufacture
  • sawmilling, woodchipping, and timber and laminated product manufacturing
  • transport and maritime services (except for boat maintenance or repair)
  • waste management
  • water treatment services.

Higher risk ERAs are treated differently from lower risk ERAs. The administering authority will use 'operational thresholds' to determine the risks of your ERA, and your annual fees.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for this authority, you must be registered as a suitable operator. To be registered as a suitable operator, you must either complete the online application form or request the suitable operator registration form via email and submit the form to the department using the postal details found on the form.

You must also meet the standards conditions and eligibility criteria prescribed to your specific ERA.

You may require development approval if you are conducting the following activities:

  • changing the type of activity
  • re-establishing an ERA activity that was abandoned
  • changing the scale or intensity of activity
  • carrying out building work
  • carrying out plumbing or drainage work.

Ongoing eligibility requirements

Once you have an EA, you will need to continue to:

  • pay annual fees and submit annual returns (except for mining activities related to a mining claim)
  • comply with the conditions on your EA
  • prepare a plan of operations for an EA relating to petroleum lease (for calculating estimated rehabilitation cost).


Fees Details for this service in table format.

Task Type Business Structure Description
Apply Application All

You can find the current fees here.

Application process


You can either complete your application through Online Services or obtain the application form from the administering authority.


You can apply to transfer an EA for a prescribed activity, but not for an EA for a resource activity. You can only transfer an EA to a suitable operator.

Additional information

Some proposals may involve more than one prescribed ERA. These are referred to as 'prescribed ERA projects'. In your application you must list all the prescribed ERAs to be carried out as part of your project (i.e. as a single integrated operation).

Administering agency

Department of Environment and Science

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.

Please use these contact details for help or more information:

Permit and Licence Management

Department of Environment and Science

Mailing address: GPO BOX 2454
Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Phone: 1300 130 372
Email: palm@des.qld.gov.au
Website: Department of Environment and Science (Opens in new window)