Environmental authority application
An Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) is an activity that is required to be approved by either Brisbane City Council or the Queensland Government due to its potential to damage or pollute the environment (air, land, water and noise). This approval is called an environmental authority.
When you need an environmental authority
A business that conducts any of the following activities needs to apply to Council for an environmental authority:
- ERA 6 Asphalt Manufacturing - manufacturing more than 1,000 tonnes of asphalt in a year
- ERA 12 Plastic Product Manufacturing - manufacturing five tonnes or more of foam, composite plastics or fibre-reinforced plastics in a year; or manufacturing 50 tonnes or more of plastic products in a year
- ERA 19 Metal Forming - hot forming a total of 10,000 tonnes or more of metal in a year
- ERA 20 Metal Recovery - operating a scrap metal yard or a facility for dismantling automotive or mechanical equipment (including debonding brake or clutch components) without using a fragmentiser
- ERA 38 Surface Coating - anodising, electroplating, enamelling or galvanising by using 1 to 100 tonnes of surface coating materials in a year
- ERA 49 Boat Maintenance or Repair - operating, on a commercial basis, a boat maintenance or repair facility for maintaining or repairing hulls, superstructure or mechanical components of boats or seaplanes
- ERA 61 Waste Incineration and Thermal Treatment - operating a facility for incinerating waste vegetation, clean paper or cardboard.
If the activity is not listed above, you may still need to apply for an environmental authority from Queensland Government. A full list of ERAs, including those that require approval from the Queensland Government can be found in Schedule 2 of the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008.
When no environmental authority is needed
You do not need an environmental authority if the activity is not included in Schedule 2 of the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008, however you still need to comply with other relevant requirements, including:
- making sure you have planning approval
- complying with the General Environmental Duty (Section 319) of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.
New Environmental Authority
Payment of an application fee is required when you lodge a new Environmental Authority Application with Council. The application fee is $603.15.
Once the environmental authority has been approved you will be required to pay the annual fee within 20 working days.
Transfer of Environmental Authority
Current Environmental Authorities can be transferred to a new owner. The application fee is $125.25.
If an Environmental Authority is transferred, the annual fee is not required to be paid until the next anniversary date of the authority.
Amalgamated Environmental Authorities
The operator or two or more individual ERA types may apply for a single Environmental Authority for all activities. The application fee is $295.60.
Environmental Authorities are charged the highest annual fee of the individual ERA types.
|Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) type||Annual fee|
|ERA 6 - Asphalt Manufacturing
|ERA 12 - Plastic Product Manufacturing
|ERA 19 - Metal Forming
|ERA 20 - Metal Recovery
|ERA 38 - Surface Coating
|ERA 49 - Boat Maintenance or Repair Facility
|ERA 61 - Waste Incineration and Thermal Treatment
These fees do not attract GST.
How to apply
1. Registration with the Queensland Government as a Suitable Operator
Before applying to Council for Planning Approval or an environmental authority, you need to be registered as a suitable operator with Queensland Government.
2. Planning approval
All ERAs that are administered by Council require a development permit. When this development application is submitted to Council, it is also assessed as an Environmental Authority Application, that is, you do not need to submit a separate Environmental Authority Application in this instance. Your development application and the environmental authority will be assessed simultaneously.
To apply for a development permit, you must use the Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS) forms relevant for your development. For Environmentally Relevant Activities, you must use forms 1 and 8 (as a minimum).You can find out more about:
3. Environmental authority application
If planning approval is already in place, complete the Environmental authority application for an environmentally relevant authority online form including:
- uploading any supporting documents
- paying the application fee using a Visa or Mastercard.
You can also use the Environmental authority application for an environmentally relevant authority online form if you need to:
- transfer an authority to another person (at the same site)
- amalgamate authorities (if several activities are on the one site, or if one corporate operator of several activities at different sites)
- amend an authority.
Alternatively, you can complete the hard copy form.
After approval, you will receive a renewal notice every 12 months. Businesses that have a Pollution Prevention Plan and are at best practice standard for the industry can apply for a 50% discount on renewal fees. This discount is referred to as a green licence.
To surrender an Environmental Authority, complete the Licence or permit surrender application online form.
For further information phone Council's Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Alternatively, Council provides Industry environmental guides to help you find out more about concrete batching, surface coating and motor vehicle smash repair. Find out more.