On 3 February 2021, several amendments to the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA) (EP Act) came into operation. The vast majority of these amendments are minor and administrative in nature, however certain others are likely to have significant impacts on proponents and landowners.
Notably, the EP Act now requires proponents to pay a fee in relation to the environmental impact assessment process under Part IV. The relevant provision (section 48AA) notes that the fee has been imposed to defray the Department costs of the environmental impact assessment process and monitoring the implementation of proposals.
Importantly, the provision also allows for cost recovery for proponents. In particular, it notes that a fee prescribed under the regulations can include an amount that is a tax.
Additionally, numerous transitional provisions have been introduced into the EP Act. These comprise various significant amendments proposed in the Environmental Protection Amendment Bill (2020) (see our previous publication) and are expected to come into force sometime in the near future.
If you have any queries or concerns relating to the recent amendments to the EP Act and need assistance, feel free to contact any member of our experienced Planning and Environment Team.