Monitoring and enforcement

Both governments and proponents have responsibility for monitoring the impacts of activities on the environment. You can also monitor the impacts of activities on the environment, such as water and air quality.

Before reporting suspected breaches of environmental laws you will require evidence. It is also important to remember that the law contains certain exceptions and defences to offences. The most common defence is that a person has a permit or licence to take the action which would otherwise be an offence, such as an environment protection licence (a licence to pollute). If you are unsure whether an action is an offence or not, call the EPA Environment Line on 131 555.

National and State enforcement authorities can issue stop work notices in many cases where unauthorised activities are occurring that threaten harm to the environment.

  • To complain to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) about false or misleading claims made by companies about the carbon price, visit the ACCC website.

  • To report pollution incidents to the EPA, visit the EPA website. If you are concerned about a pollution incident, you should first contact the individual or company to request an explanation and ask them to fix the problem. You should also report the pollution incident to the EPA Environment Line on 131 555.

  • Report chemicals offences to the Environment Line on 131 555. Offences include:

    • Carrying out a prohibited activity such as manufacturing, processing, storing, or distributing a chemical without permission from the EPA.

Under certain environmental laws, any person has the right to bring proceedings in a Court to remedy or restrain a breach. For breaches of national environmental law, this is the Federal Court. . In NSW, this is mainly to the Land and Environment Court. See How can I have my say? for more information. You should contact the EDO NSW Environmental Law Line to request some initial legal advice if you would like to take this step.