Compliance Mechanisms and Penalties:
A person must not carry out any activity that causes, or is likely to cause, environmental harm unless the person takes all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or minimise the harm (the general environmental duty). Regard must be had to the nature of the harm or potential harm; the sensitivity of the receiving environment; the current state of technical knowledge for the activity; the likelihood of successful application of the different measures that might be taken; and the financial implications of the different measures as they would relate to the type of activity.
There is a duty to notify environmental harm under sections 320-320G of the Environmental Protection Act 1994. It requires a person or company carrying out an activity to give notice where serious or material environmental harm, that is not authorised under the EP Act, is caused or threatened. More information is available in a guideline, The duty to notify of environmental harm, which can be found at www.ehp.qld.gov.au using the publication number EM467 as a search term.
Breaches of the Act may result in one of the following measures:
requirement to conduct environmental evaluations
requirement to prepare transitional environmental programs
issue of infringement notices
issue of orders to carry out specified works or clean up damage (Environment Protection Orders or Clean Up Notices)
take out injunctions to cease activity
initiate prosecution proceedings
the suspension or cancellation of a registration certificate
Prosecution may result in fines to individuals, companies and their executive officers. Terms of imprisonment may also be imposed.
Review or Appeal Mechanisms:
Decisions by authorities administering the Environmental Protection Act 1994 are generally subject to administrative review and appeal mechanisms. See the information sheets Internal review and appeal to Land Court (available at www.ehp.qld.gov.au using the publication number EM1157 as a search term) and Internal review and appeal to Planning and Environment Court (available at www.ehp.qld.gov.au using the publication number EM 1866 as a search term).
Decisions on development approvals are appealable under SPA. See information sheet Appeals under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 for information on appeals under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (available at www.ehp.qld.gov.au using the publication number EM102 as a search term).