Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 No 156

Currency

As amended to Protection of the Environment Operations Legislation Amendment (Scheduled Activities) Regulation 2019 (No 319). Commenced 5 July 2019. Current to 16 July 2019.

Jurisdiction

Section 215(1): Proceedings for an offence arising under the Act or regulations (other than under Pt 5.2) may be dealt with summarily before the Local Court or summarily by the Land and Environment Court in its summary jurisdiction.

Section 215(2): If any such proceedings are brought in the Local Court, the maximum monetary penalty that the court may impose for the offence is 1000 pu, despite any other provision of the Act.

Note: The Local Court does not have jurisdiction to deal with offences under Pt 5.2, that is Tier 1 offences referred to in ss 115 to 117 inclusive: “Disposal of waste — harm to the environment”, “Leaks, spillages and other escapes” and “Emission of ozone depleting substances”. See s 114 for classification of offences. The Local Court does not have jurisdiction to deal with offences under ss 144AA(2) and 144AB: “Knowlingly supplying false or misleading information about waste” and “Repeat waste offenders”.

Time for commencement

Sections 216(1), (2): Generally, proceedings for an offence dealt with summarily under the Act may be commenced not later than 12 mths after the date on which the offence is alleged to have been committed or evidence of the alleged offence first came to the attention of any relevant authorised officer. For prescribed offences, proceedings may be commenced not later than 3 yrs after the date of the alleged offence or when the offence first came to the attention of any relevant authorised officer: see ss 216(2)(a). “Prescribed offence” is defined in s 216(6).

Matters to be considered in imposing penalties

Section 241(1): The following matters should be considered in imposing a penalty for an offence against this Act or the regulations (so far as they are relevant):

(a) 

the extent of the harm caused or likely to be caused to the environment by the commission of the offence,

(b) 

the practical measures that may be taken to prevent, control, abate or mitigate that harm,

(c) 

the extent to which the person who committed the offence could reasonably have foreseen the harm caused or likely to be caused to the environment by the commission of the offence,

(d) 

the extent to which the person who committed the offence had control over the causes that gave rise to the offence,

(e) 

whether, in committing the offence, the person was complying with orders from an employer or supervising employee.

Section 241(2): The court may also take into consideration other matters that it considers relevant.

Maximum penalty and continuing offences

Certain offences attract further penalties (in addition to the maximum penalty for the offence) if they are continuing offences. “Continuing offence” is defined in s 242. Offences under ss 47(1), 48(2), 49(2), 64(1), 86(3), 88(3), 91(5), 97, 102, 112, 123, 132, 141, 142A(1), 144(1), 144AAB, 152, 153A, 153B, 153D, 153E, 153F, 167(4), 177(5), 211(4), 251, 265(2) have penalties of $120,000 per day for corporations and $60,000 per day for individuals for continuing offences.

Offences by corporations

Section 169(1): If a corporation contravenes, whether by act or omission, a provision of this Act attracting special executive liability, each person who is a director of the corporation or who is concerned in the management of the corporation is taken to have contravened the same provision unless the person satisfies the court of certain matters.

Section 169(1A): Identifies ss 49(2), 64(1), 66(2) or (4), 102, 113, 115(1), 116(1) or (2), 117(1), 120(1), 124, 125, 126, 128, 142A(1), 143(1), 144(1), 144AAA(1), 144AAB and 152 as the provisions that attract special executive liability.

Liability of directors

Section 169A: If a corporation commits an “executive liability offence” a director involved in the management who is in a position to influence the corporation’s conduct, who knows or ought reasonably to know of the offence and fails to prevent or stop the commission of the executive liability offence is liable to the same penalty for the offence if committed by an individual.

Section 169B: If a corporation commits a “corporate offence” a director who aids, abets, induces, counsels or procures, conspires in the commission of the corporate offence is liable to the same penalty for the offence if committed by an individual.

SECTION DESCRIPTION PENALTY (MAX)
47–129 (except ss 115–117: see s 215 above) Miscellaneous offences dealing with environment protection licences, licence conditions, environment protection notices and various environment protection offences Corp 1000 pu*;
Indiv 1000 pu*
135 Fail to comply with notice/order not to light fires 30 pu
135C(1) Fail to comply with smoke abatement notice 30 pu
136–141 Miscellaneous offences dealing with noise pollution, land pollution, waste Corp 1000 pu*;
Indiv 1000 pu*
142A Pollution of land Corp 1000 pu*

[$2,000,000 (if the offence involves asbestos waste) or $1,000,000];

Indiv 1000 pu*

[$500,000 (if the offence involves asbestos waste) or $250,000]

143 Unlawful transporting or depositing of waste Corp 1000 pu*
[$2,000,000 (if the offence involves asbestos waste) or $1,000,000];

Indiv 1000 pu*

[$500,000 (if the offence involves asbestos waste) or $250,000]

144 Use of place as waste facility without lawful authority Corp 1000 pu*

[$2,000,000 (if the offence involves asbestos waste) or $1,000,000];

Indiv 1000 pu

[$500,000 (if the offence involves asbestos waste) or $250,000]

144AAA Unlawful disposal of asbestos waste Corp 1000 pu*

[$2,000,000];

Indiv 1000 pu*

[$500,000]

144AAB Re-use and recycling of asbestos waste prohibited Corp 1000 pu*

[$2,000,000 and, for a continuing offence $120,000 per day];

Indiv 1000 pu*

[$500,000 and, for a continuing offence $60,000 per day]

144AA(1) Cause/permit supply false/misleading info about waste Corp 1000 pu*

[$250,000];

Indiv 1000 pu*

[$120,000]

144AC(2) Fail to comply with notice to install GPS tracking device
in vehicle used for transportation of waste
Corp 200 pu*

Indiv 100 pu*

145(1) Littering 20 pu
145A(1) Aggravated littering (littering causing danger) Corp 50 pu; Indiv 30 pu
146(8) Vehicle owner/driver make false statement 10 pu
146A(1) Deposit advertising material in/on any place 5 pu
146B(1) Deposit advertising material in/on any vehicle 5 pu
146C Cause/attempt to cause etc another to contravene ss 146A or 146B Corp 30 pu; Indiv 7 pu
146E(1), (2) Release/cause, permit release of 20 or more lighter than air balloons at same time 10 pu
146E(3) Release/cause/permit release of more than 100 balloons Corp 55 pu; Indiv 33 pu
211(1) Not comply with requirement of Ch 7 (excluding ss 204 and 208) Corp 1000 pu*; Indiv 1000 pu*
211(1) Not state name/address under s 204 100 pu
211(1) Not comply with direction of authorised officer under s 208 30 pu
211(2) Attempt to comply with Ch 7 (excluding ss 204 and 208)
by false/misleading means
Corp 1000 pu*; Indiv 1000 pu*
211(2) Attempt to comply with s 204 by false/misleading means 100 pu
211(2) Attempt to comply with s 208 by false/misleading means 30 pu
211(3) Delay/obstruct authorised officer exercising power — Ch 7
(excluding ss 204 and 208)
Corp 1000 pu*; Indiv 1000 pu*
211(3) Delay/obstruct authorised officer exercising power s 204 100 pu
211(3) Delay/obstruct authorised officer exercising power s 208 30 pu
211(4) Impersonate authorised officer under Ch 7 (excluding ss 204 and 208) Corp 1000 pu*; Indiv 1000 pu*
211(4) Impersonate authorised officer (s 204) 100 pu
211(4) Impersonate authorised officer (s 208) 30 pu
238(1) Contravene a restraining order under Act fine = value of property
up to 1000 pu* and/or 2 yrs
251 Fail to comply with order under Pt 8.3 (excl ss 246–248) Corp 1000 pu*; Indiv 1000 pu*
265(1) Unlawfully contravene noise control notice Corp 1000 pu*; Indiv 1000 pu*
[Corp $60,000; Indiv $30,000]
267A(7) Fail to pay fee within prescribed time 200 pu
269 Contravene etc noise abatement order 30 pu
277(1), (2), (4) Contravene noise abatement direction 30 pu
281(3) Fail to give name/address to police when required; give false/misleading name 30 pu
312(7), (8) Neglect/refuse to comply with notice under s 312; furnish false, misleading name; give false, misleading evidence 100 pu
323 Regulations may create offences Corp 400 pu; Indiv 200 pu
*

Maximum penalty in the Local Court: s 215(2).

Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2017

Currency

Commenced 1 September 2017. Current to 22 August 2018.

Section 136 of the Act creates an offence of selling an article of a class prescribed by the regulations if, when in use or operation, the article emits noise in excess of a prescribed level.

CLAUSE DESCRIPTION PENALTY (MAX)
5(1)

A person must not use a motor vehicle capable of emitting noise at a level in excess of the level specified in Sch 1

  • < 5 dB(A) above prescribed level

  • > = 5, < = 15 dB(A) above prescribed level

  • > 15 dB(A) above prescribed level

  • Corp 100 pu; Indiv 50 pu

  • Corp 150 pu; Indiv 75 pu

  • Corp 300 pu; Indiv 150 pu

6 Use m.v. emitting offensive noise other than on road Corp 100 pu; Indiv 50 pu
8 Use m.v. on residential premises emitting noise outside prescribed hours Corp 100 pu; Indiv 50 pu
9 Use refrigeration unit on m.v. emitting noise outside prescribed hours Corp 100 pu; Indiv 50 pu
10, 11, 12 Sell vehicle, drive/use vehicle, modify or repair vehicle with defective noise control equipment Corp 100 pu; Indiv 50 pu
20 Sale of certain alarms that emit dual tone Corp 100 pu; Indiv 50 pu
21 Sale of certain alarms that emit variable tone Corp 100 pu; Indiv 50 pu
22 Sale of certain alarms that emit rising tones Corp 100 pu; Indiv 50 pu
23 Sale of alarms with a panic or override switch Corp 100 pu; Indiv 50 pu
24 Use of alarms with panic or override switches Corp 100 pu; Indiv 50 pu
25

Alarms that sound for length of time

  • does not exceed 4 hours

  • exceeds 4 hours but does not exceed 8 hours

  • exceeds 8 hours

  • Corp 100 pu; Indiv 50 pu

  • Corp 200 pu; Indiv 100 pu

  • Corp 300 pu; Indiv 150 pu

26 Design and construction of alarms Corp 100 pu; Indiv 50 pu
27–28 Offences relating to vehicle horns Corp 100 pu; Indiv 50 pu
31 Use of vehicle sound system emitting offensive noise Corp 100 pu; Indiv 50 pu
33 Drive motor vehicle on a road or related area if sound system emits offensive noise 50 pu

Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014

Currency

As amended to Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment (Asbestos Waste) Act 2018 (No 80). Commenced 25 January 2019. Current to 29 January 2019.

Except as set out in the table below, the maximum penalty for offences under this regulation is 200 pu for a corporation and 100 pu for an individual:

CLAUSE DESCRIPTION PENALTY (MAX)
44 Copy of waste transport certificate to be given to occupier of waste facility Corp 100 pu; Indiv 50 pu
48(5) Notification of revocation of approval Corp 100 pu; Indiv 50 pu
71 Transportation of waste to a place not lawfully to be used for disposal of that waste Corp 400 pu; Indiv 200 pu
78 General requirements applying to transportation of asbestos waste Corp 400 pu; Indiv 200 pu
80 Offences related to the disposal of asbestos waste Corp 400 pu; Indiv 200 pu
93 Obligation to comply with requirements relating to the supply of resource recovery waste Corp 400 pu; Indiv 200 pu
110A(1) Exhume waste from landfill site Corp 400 pu; Indiv 200 pu
113, 114 Special requirements relating to clinical waste, residue waste Corp 400 pu; Indiv 200 pu